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Situated Learning in Cross-functional Virtual Teams

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This paper reports an interpretive study of three cross-functional teams in a single company. The teams were virtual because each was composed of workers located in a small southern U. S. town and a northern U. S. city. The conceptual framework of situated learning within communities of practice guided the interpretation of transcripts of interviews with 22 managers and team members. The results suggest that virtual teamwork creates special demands that require workers to devise local practices for coordinating their work with remote team members. Through different combinations of remote and face-to-face communication, using a variety of communication media, the learning of work practices became situated in the virtual community rather than imposed by managers or specially designed coordinating technologies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2000

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