Building Trust in Virtual Teams-Evaluating Online Collaboration from a Human-Centred Design Perspective

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Building Trust in Virtual Teams-Evaluating Online Collaboration from a Human-Centred Design Perspective
Abstract: This thesis investigates how enabling the social nature of online communication can lead to building trust in virtual team collaboration. This was mostly done by researching previous study results and connecting them to establish a theoretical linkage between rich online communications and high trust. Furthermore, an empirical study was conducted at Volvo Information Technology located at Gothenburg, Sweden in support to the key insights developed. In the working process, firstly, the challenges in virtual work were identified in traditional online collaboration (i.e. via Email, Instant messenger, Video conference etc.), which was followed by a survey to get an idea on the usage of collaboration tools at Volvo IT. The study further extends to understanding the changes in communication behavior of people outside workplace over the last decade and hence the changes that have occurred in users’ mental model and user experience of online communication. Connectivity has become another basic need in modern lifestyle and the online world is catching up with the offline world faster than we ever thought possible. The rich social applications facilitate innovative ways to create and maintain relationships online by allowing people to actively create content and interact with others. This is even more noticeable in relationships where people are geographically dispersed and possess a global mindset. As technology advances, global companies want to benefit more from the online collaboration. With current collaboration tools available, companies like Volvo IT is running online live meetings, training workshops, webinars and so on. However, the non-technical variables of a successful team such as group cohesion and trust etc. have remained as big concerns when it comes to online collaboration. This study argues that traditional online collaboration tools do not encourage online social engagement to support cognitive and psychological needs of the virtual team members who use them on regular basis to coordinate with each other. Social communication is fundamental in creating good relationships and foster group dynamics similar to that of traditional face-to-face work environments. The study also analyses the user experience of Facebook to understand why this and other social networking websites are so successful in creating relationships online that the collaboration strategists are eyeing onto despite the so-called productivity issues. Finally, the thesis also looks into few latest industry trends and movements in the field of enterprise online collaboration by the time of writing it.
Keywords: Interaktionsteknik;Interaction Technologies
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för tillämpad informationsteknologi (Chalmers)
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Applied Information Technology (Chalmers)
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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