Addressing team dynamics in virtual teams: the role of soft systems

Frank Stowell, S. Cooray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) is providing businesses with the means of assembling virtual teams comprising of members in diverse locations. However research shows that virtual team dynamics are different from face to face dynamics. Recent research adds force to the view that conflicts are more prevalent within virtual teams since participants are less likely to change their initial points of view when discussions are held virtually. This insight has implications for IS development since many IS are developed by virtual project teams. It is relevant to systems analysis since according to systems thinkers the process should include a discussion about alternative points of view leading to a group level shared view of the situation under analysis. If recent research is taken into account then conflict resolution in virtual teams is difficult which raises doubts about whether a group level view of a situation can be reached during systems analysis. In this paper, the authors strive to identify challenges associated with the application of soft methods in synchronous virtual teams since a review of literature shows that soft methods have not been used previously in synchronous virtual teams. The authors also explore if concerns about conflicts in synchronous virtual teams can be overcome through the use of soft systems methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-53
Journal International Journal of Information Technologies and Systems Approach
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Addressing team dynamics in virtual teams: the role of soft systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this