Management of Information Overload in Virtual Teams

Information is critical resource to a team's success. However, in practice it has become apparent that virtual collaboration does often suffer from too much information with negative effects on team performance.

Factsheet

  • Lead department Business
  • Institute Institute for New Work
  • Research unit New Forms of Work and Organisation
  • BFH centre BFH Centre for the Digital Society
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration 01.05.2013 - 31.07.2015
  • Project management Andrea Gurtner
  • Head of project Andrea Gurtner
  • Partner Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz - FHNW, Hochschule für Angewandte Psychologie
    Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
    Universität Trier, Institut für Psychologie
  • Keywords Virtual Team, Information Overload, Shared Mental Models, Team Knowledge Adaptation

Situation

Closing a research gap concerning the effects of team knowledge on information overload in virtual teams. Providing team knowledge adaptation stages as efficient strategy for information management in virtual teamworwork.

Course of action

Team knowledge about task- and team-work characteristics represents an important cognitive underpinning of group functioning. Thus, the three foci of this research project are: (1) to investigate the causal relation of team knowledge and information overload, (2) to analyze how team knowledge adaptation can improve team knowledge in order to reduce information overload, and (3) to transfer the procedure into virtual teams' information management in organizations.

Result

From a practical point of view, a valuable insight is gained on critical factors for IO in organizational virtual teams. This is not only of particular importance for the associated project partners, but also for other companies as the results will have high external validity. The results can promote an efficient information management within virtual teams and maximize their effectiveness when the findings are applied in an organizational context.

Looking ahead

The project yields a useful product for the practice: Intervention modules in virtual teams and guidance for the application of these units are developed, evaluated and provided for organizational teams.