Virtual teams and conflicts: the role of Action Research

Frank Stowell, Shavindrie Cooray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recent research shows that although virtual teams have risen in popularity especially in the area of IS development they are typically more conflictual than face-to-face teams. This is because team members are more unlikely to change their initial personal points of view through discussion when interacting with others virtually. If virtual teams are to succeed the issue of increased conflicts should be addressed. In this paper we use an approach known as Action Research as a means of creating shared understanding within a synchronous virtual team and ameliorating the effects of conflicts. We describe field research conducted between two institutions (in the US and UK) that were separated by several thousand miles and all participants connected from individual locations using virtual synchronous ICT. The study provided insight into the use of soft AR as an alternative approach to conflict resolution in virtual teams.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 9th International Conference on Human System Interactions (HSI)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1509017294
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2016
Event9th International Conference on Human System Interactions: HSI 2016 - University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jul 20168 Jul 2016


Conference9th International Conference on Human System Interactions
Abbreviated titleHSI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Action Research
  • conflicts
  • soft systems
  • virtual teams
  • noissn


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