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The perceived effects of technology on product management team collaboration

Dissertation
Author: Catherine Faherty Hosley
Abstract:
The paradigm of using technology to facilitate collaboration across teams and organization indicates an increased importance in understanding the current known effects of technology on collaboration. Such effects can negatively impact collaboration (communication and coordination) reducing common knowledge and understanding, hampering performance across virtual teams. The purpose of this quantitative quasi-experimental study was to determine and measure the perceived effectiveness of information exchange over different mediums (synchronous and asynchronous modes of interaction) for the purpose of collaboration (communication and coordination) within a Federal Integrated Product Team (IPT). A statistical One-way Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA), within group repeated measures was implemented to measure perceived effectiveness of information exchange in terms of collaboration across Face-to-Face (FtF), teleconference, Instant Messaging (IM) and Email). Sixty IPT members voluntarily participated in a survey measuring perceived effects in information exchange for communication and coordination. Results indicated significant differences in IM, teleconferencing and Email when compared to FtF and significant differences between IM/teleconferencing and Email. These findings indicate technology has effects on information exchange for purposes of collaboration and the type of technology (synchronous and asynchronous) can have differing effects. Implications for management and leadership are to manage suites of technology and implement strategies to use technology to better support collaborative activities and enhance team performance.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES ...............................................................................................................x

LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................... xi

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................1

Background of the Study ...........................................................................................2

Statement of the Problem ...........................................................................................5

Purpose of the Study ..................................................................................................7 Significance of the Study ...........................................................................................8 Nature of the Study ....................................................................................................9 Research Question ...................................................................................................15 Hypothesis................................................................................................................16 Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................20 Definition of Terms..................................................................................................23 Assumptions .............................................................................................................24 Scope ........................................................................................................................26 Limitations ...............................................................................................................26 Delimitations ............................................................................................................27 Summary ..................................................................................................................27 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ............................................................29

History of Internet Technology and Globalization ..................................................30 Organizations and Teams .........................................................................................33 Integrated Product Teams ........................................................................................36 Collaboration............................................................................................................39

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Collaboration and Performance ................................................................................45 Virtual Collaboration Challenges .............................................................................47 Technology Effects on Collaboration .......................................................................49 Types of Technologies ..............................................................................................55 Conclusion ................................................................................................................59 Summary ...................................................................................................................61 CHAPTER 3: METHOD ...................................................................................................63 Research Methods and Design ..................................................................................64 Research Question ....................................................................................................66 Hypotheses ................................................................................................................67 Analytical Model ......................................................................................................71 Population .................................................................................................................72 Study Procedure ........................................................................................................73 Sampling Procedure ..................................................................................................74 Sample Size ...............................................................................................................75 Informed Consent......................................................................................................76 Confidentiality ..........................................................................................................78 Data Collection Procedure ........................................................................................79 Validity .....................................................................................................................84 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................86 Summary ...................................................................................................................87 CHAPTER 4: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA ......................................89 Demographics ...........................................................................................................91

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Design and Procedures ..............................................................................................92 Pilot Study .................................................................................................................93 Analysis.....................................................................................................................95 Summary of Findings ..............................................................................................105 Conclusion ..............................................................................................................111 CHAPTER 5: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA ...................................112 Data Collection .......................................................................................................114 Results and Implications .........................................................................................114 Significance of Results ...........................................................................................122 Recommendations ...................................................................................................124 Suggestions for Future Research ............................................................................126 Summary .................................................................................................................129 Conclusion ..............................................................................................................130 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................133

APPENDICES .................................................................................................................141

A. Facsimile Wilder Letter of Permission ...............................................................141

B. Letter of Invitation for Participants .....................................................................142

C. Consent Form ......................................................................................................143

D. University of Phoenix Permission Letter ............................................................144

E. Survey Instrument ...............................................................................................145

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F. Cross Reference Variables with Survey and Wilder Factor ................................151

G. Sample Population Demographics ......................................................................156

H. Changes to Final Survey Due to Pilot Study ......................................................159

I. Pilot Data (Raw) Across Variables ......................................................................160

J. Pilot Data Summed Scores and Descriptive Analysis ..........................................162

K. Final Survey Email Responses 60 Coded Data ...................................................164

L. Final Survey Teleconferencing Responses 60 Coded Data .................................167

M. Final Survey IM Responses 60 Coded Data .......................................................170

N. Final Survey FtF Responses 60 Coded Data .......................................................173

O. Final Survey Variables (Sum) Responses 60 Coded Data ..................................176

P. Descriptive Charts of the Technology and FtF Final Survey ..............................178

Q. Descriptive Charts of the Synchronous/Asynchronous Technology Survey ......181

R. Histograms Variables Coded_60 .........................................................................183

S. One-Way Repeated Measures ANOVA (s) Analysis ..........................................191

x

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Descriptive Statistics Media On Final survey 60 Coded .....................................96

Table 2. Low Scores Related to Teleconferencing For Communications ..........................99

Table 3. Low Scores Related to IM for Communications ................................................100

Table 4. Low Scores Related to IM for Coordination ......................................................100

Table 5. ANOVA On Technology Versus FtF for Communication ..................................102

Table 6. ANOVA On Technology Versus FtF for Coordination ......................................103

Table 7. ANOVA On Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Technology for Communication ..104

Table 8. ANOVA On Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Technology for Coordination ......105

Table 9. Perceived Effectiveness of Information Exchange .............................................110

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Collaboration process over technology. .............................................................11

Figure 2. Theoretical framework .......................................................................................23

Figure 3. Relational design impacts of mediums on collaboration ...................................72

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION The information age and the global Internet provide an environment within which individuals, businesses, and organizations can communicate across time and space. Business, learning, and social activities are all possible from various locations around the world. Businesses have restructured and adopted e-business to take advantage of internet- based information and communication technologies (Gatautis, 2009). Collaboration, a critical component of business, is an interactive knowledge based process involving multiple participants employing complementary skills and assets with collective objectives (Hartono & Holsapple, 2004). For the purpose of the study, the aspect of business of concern is the use of technologies for electronic information exchange between individuals for the purpose of collaboration at a military installation. E-business technology allows people to communicate and operate in synchronous (real, or near real time), and asynchronous (delayed) ways for collaboration. Common technologies include the telephone, teleconferencing, instant messaging (time delay very short), and Email. The paradigm of E-business, that is, using technology to facilitate collaboration across teams and organization, indicates an increased importance in understanding the current known effects of technology on collaboration (Qureshi, Lui, & Vogel, 2006). The purpose of the quantitative study was to measure the perceived effects of technology-based collaboration, defined as communication and coordination, over synchronous and asynchronous technology. The collaboration studied was that of product development teams engaged in military communications equipment development. The

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population studied was Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, which includes members of the armed forces as well as civilian employees. Background of the Study Globalization, cost effectiveness, and technology have produced a reliance on dispersed teams. Information technology, the nature of work evolution, organization size and structure, have all created new organizational structures such as the use of virtual teams and new e-business-oriented vertical and horizontal organizational structures (Ephross & Vassil, 2005). Organizational reliance and dependence on virtual teams and how they communicate are increasingly important to performance (Ephross & Vassil, 2005; Qureshi et al., 2006; Rao, Earls, & Sanchez, 2007). Seilheimer, Ishman, and Seilheimer (2005) found the rapid expansion of the Internet and supporting technology enables team members to work together separately, creating an environment for virtual project execution. Virtual teams that are widely dispersed and comprised of cross functional members performing independent tasks are beset with challenges (Malhotra, Majchrzak, & Rosen, 2007). Mutual knowledge gained through collaboration is considered a precondition for effective communication and performance in cooperative work (Cramton, 2001). Virtual teams require more leadership than conventional co-located teams and this role is shared in successful teams (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). The distributed nature of leadership between virtual teams places further emphasis on the importance of technology (mediums) to both communicate and coordinate. The evaluation of collaboration (communication and coordination) over technology may provide leader insights to best use technology in a virtual environment leading to

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increased productivity, which may lead to cost savings. The following section summarizes research about the use of technology in collaborative virtual team settings. Collaboration is essential if organizations are to address socio-economic issues, which creates an increase in “collaboration among human service, government, and community during the past 15 years of the 20th century” (Mattessich, Murray-Close, & Monsey, 2001, p. 2). Collaboration “is not always effective” (Mattessich et al., p. 4). Adding to the problem of collaboration as a whole is the difficulty of virtual collaboration and the limited understanding of technology effects on the elements of collaboration across divergent groups (Cramton, 2001; Lawrence, 2006; Qureshi et al., 2006; Walsh & Maloney, 2007). The collaborative teams polled within the context of the present study were comprised of people who develop military communications equipment and collaborate through Face-to-Face (FtF) and electronic means. Collaboration is a critical element of organizations both large and small that use technology for collaboration during product development and task execution. The effects of technology can influence success or failure of collaboration efforts (Qureshi et al., 2006; Walsh & Maloney, 2007). Increased use of technology for collaboration creates a need to understand how the information exchange channels are used and how the team functions when employing technology to achieve individual and collective goals (Malhotra et al., 2007). Organizations use integrated virtual teams to provide expertise across functional areas. Knowledge and shared meaning become especially important because shared knowledge and meaning lead to effective collaboration as a result of successful communication (Cramton, 2001; Qureshi et al.).

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Collaboration is an important element of organizational groups and teams because it allows exchange of information to meet team goals, problem solve, and execute product development tasks. Qureshi et al. (2006) studied dispersed virtual teams and electronic collaboration on controlled distributed projects demonstrating there are effects of technology on collaboration. Research has found that communication and coordination are fundamental elements associated with collaboration of virtual teams (Arrow et al., 2000; Lipnack & Stamps, 2000; Mattessich et al., 2001; Qureshi et al., 2006). Channels of medium (whether air or sound waves/radio frequency, or cables) carry information that enables information exchange. Mediums can have profound effects (Qureshi et al.); consequently, choosing the appropriate medium enables people to synchronize with one another, as well as to link over time (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). The conditions “for communicating across space and time boundaries is intimately involved with the nature of their technology and how interactive it is” (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000, p. 198). Media influences effectiveness and accessibility that shape team communication and interaction (Qureshi et al., 2006). Extending results on the effects of technology and measures of collaboration within a practical environment of product management may provide additional insights within this area of research. The importance of interactions and the effects media have across synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication, and limited understanding of these perceived effects in Federal product management environments, drives the need for additional study of dispersed teams and collaboration effects over information technology (IT). In summary, freely-developing communication exchange is necessary to share ideas and information that is essential for successful multidisciplinary collaborative work

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(Doyle, 2008). Productivity is affected by the virtual environment where knowledge workers often spend the majority of work time working through information and communication technologies (Thomas, Bostrom, & Gouge, 2007). Increased focus on collaboration should occur due to the current shift to virtual teams and evolving technology to enhance productivity and save costs (Seilheimer et al., 2005). Physical mediums provide communication channels for interaction and offer only the potential for communications (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). FtF communication is synchronous, but stands apart from other modes regarding the depth of understanding in the group psyche (Lipnack & Stamps). FtF includes a multitude of communication signals, such as facial expression, body language, and intonation. The complexity associated with product development (Ephross & Vassil, 2005) provides a unique opportunity to evaluate how different technology mediums affect the elements of collaboration. Finally, there was a gap in the knowledge about the perceived effects of technology on collaboration in the development of communications and technology equipment within Federal IPTs. Statement of the Problem The general problem was that technology can have negative effects on collaboration (Cramton, 2001; Qureshi et al., 2006) resulting in changes to group interaction (Hammond, Harvey, Koubeck, Compton, & Darisipudi, 2005). Decreases in interaction imposed by technology can reduce contributions for optimal solutions across multidisciplinary teams (Hammond et al., 2005) as well as create a mutual knowledge problem (Cramton). The specific problem was that technology impacts information exchange for purposes of collaboration (communication and coordination) thus reducing common knowledge and understanding, hampering performance across virtual teams

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(Cramton; Hammond et al.; Qureshi et al.). Continued research on technology effects was needed (Qureshi et al.) and further understanding of the effects of distributed communication may enable virtual organizations higher efficiencies similar to face-to- face groups and lead to training (Hammond et al.). The review of relevant literature found no studies that investigated the effects of technology on information exchange for purposes of collaboration within a Federal IPT and acquisition environment. Understanding of virtual effects of technology on collaboration within a Federal IPT had yet to be investigated and the present study provided an opportunity for additional insight. Federal product development teams are involved in complex product developments with many diversified members and stakeholders (Seman, 2006) similar to organizational product teams involved in e- collaboration used in business today. The general population was dispersed integrated product teams consisting of various specialties using technology to collaborate with a common goal of product development. The kind of information needed to provide understanding of the effects technology has on collaboration in the Federal product team environment is the perceived effectiveness of the various mediums on collaboration by product team members. To address this problem, a quantitative methodology and a quasi-experimental design was used measure the perceived effectiveness of information exchange over different forms of technology and FtF. The study provided insight into the effects of technology on information exchanges for purposes of collaboration.

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Purpose of the Study The intent of the quantitative quasi-experimental study was to determine and measure the perceived effectiveness of information exchange over different mediums (synchronous and asynchronous modes of interaction) for the purpose of collaboration (communication and coordination) within Federal IPTs to better understand technology effects. A quantitative methodology was needed to measure (Creswell, 2008) the perceived effectiveness across the variables of interest (mediums and collaboration). A quasi-experimental (within subjects) design was appropriate because the individuals currently use the technology (no access to control group) and within-subject provides the ability to measure effectiveness across various mediums by the same individual reducing errors (Salkind, 2008). A statistical one-way Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA) was implemented to measure perceived effectiveness. The independent variable was the type of medium used by the participants (FtF, teleconference, Instant Messaging (IM) and Email). The dependent variable was the perceived effectiveness of information exchange measured in terms of collaboration (communication and coordination) over the various mediums. The specific population under study was the PEO made up of various PMs supporting product development located at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. The IPTs consisted of personnel having knowledge across specialties necessary to understand customer needs (Army soldiers) to translate capability into specifications such as system engineering, training, safety engineering, logistics, contracting, and finance (Seman, 2006). The study was conducted at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey through electronic distribution of surveys to the War-fighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) IPT

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within the PM WIN-T Program Manager (PM) office. Determined through analysis were any significant differences in the information exchange scores over the various mediums to measure perceived effectiveness. Significance of the Study Emphasis on globalization and virtual teams places a reliance on teams using technology for collaboration (Arnison & Miller, 2002; Friedman, 2006; Kossler & Prestridge, 2003; Qureshi et al., 2006; Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). Investigations and future research on collaboration (communication and coordination) using common technologies in practical applications are needed to provide better understanding of technology effects on collaboration (Arrow, 2000; Lipnack & Stamps; Qureshi). Understanding the perceived effects of technology on elements of collaboration may provide practical application of results found in previous research (Qureshi) and may enable more effective intergroup dynamics and processes using technology. Current and future research about virtual teams using technology can enable “virtual organizations to function efficiently while maintaining the decision and design quality of face-to-face groups” (Hammond et al., 2005, p. 163). Collaboration norms shape the ability of teams to effectively use technology and must be championed through leadership and training (Berry, 2006). Consequently, the results of the study contribute to the body of knowledge and leadership about collaboration using technology. Leadership may use these findings to understand how to use technology more effectively. Understanding perceived effectiveness of technology on communication and coordination may have direct impacts to more effectively use technology resulting in more efficient team member collaboration. The importance of learning about virtual

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communication in groups is reminiscent of a finding by Ephross and Vassil (2005) when they posited that group leadership is similar to conducting an orchestra, which requires an understanding of patterns in communication and coordination. The significance of the study of technology effects on collaboration (communication and coordination) may raise awareness for further current research on the effects of technology, enabling leaders and managers to increase collaboration, which in turn may increase productivity and enable cost savings. In addition, understanding of technology effects on collaboration may enable leaders to create opportunities to train and prepare team members to use technology more effectively for purposes of collaboration (Hammond et al., 2005). Nature of the Study The study was a quantitative quasi-experimental within subjects design. In a quasi-experimental within subject designs is a study of a single group under several conditions. A true experimental design forms groups through random assignment of participants and the use of a control group. An experimental design was not used in this study because of the lack of control over the independent variable, that is, participants already using the four mediums concurrently. A quantitative study was an appropriate method for several reasons. First, measuring the perceived effects is of prime interest in this study, and when the purpose of a study is to examine relationships between variables, a quantitative method is most appropriate (Creswell, 2008; Salkind, 2008). Hypotheses can only be tested using quantitative data, that is, data that can be expressed in numbers that can be statistically assessed. The study employed a survey, which was appropriate because the survey research was quantitative in nature and used to identify beliefs and attitudes such as perceptions of

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technology effects on collaboration (Creswell, 2008). Measured in the survey was the perceived effectiveness of collaboration across various mediums (FtF, teleconference, IM and Email) by the product team members. A survey using a Likert 5-point scale was used to gather the data from the target population, which was analyzed for statistical purposes used in quantitative research (Creswell, 2008). The data was statistically analyzed to measure perceived effectiveness scores associated with quantitative methods (Creswell). One-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to study differences in the perceived effectiveness of the various mediums (Hoyle, 1999). A one-way ANOVA was appropriate (Hoyle) because the design had one independent variable with four levels (the four mediums). Repeated measures analysis (also called within-subject analysis) was appropriate because data were collected from the same group of individuals over the four levels of the independent variable. Hoyle (1999) found that a within-subject design has greater power than a between-subject design, because there is less unexplained variance in a within-subjects design. In between-subject designs, some of the variance is caused by individual differences. That is, the groups or conditions to be compared consist of different individuals. In within-subject designs this source of unexplained variance is removed because data are collected from the same participants. These participants serve as their own controls (Hoyle). Hence, a within-subjects design increases both power and frequency through additional data points and reduced errors (Hoyle). The relationship between the elements of collaboration is illustrated in Figure 1.

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Figure 1. Collaboration process over technology. The study was conducted across a single group of individuals comprised of a project team within a Product Management (PM) office to measure the perceived effects of technology over collaboration. A Federal population was chosen due to personal and professional interest. Access to such a population is unique. Lessons learned from the study may provide a basis for other studies that may be undertaken (or taken) on commercial teams. The specific population consisted of individuals involved in technology and product development of military communication development at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. The individuals were associated with the PM WIN-T project, which is one of the larger and more complex programs within the PM, and was the cluster sample. The PM WIN-T project and the associated context were appropriate for the study due to the common use of these technologies and dispersed diversified teams associated with Fort Monmouth’s equipment development. Cluster sampling was applied to an IPT within the largest program management office (within the Program Executive Office), rather than selection of specific individuals (Salkind, 2008). Cluster sampling was appropriate because it saved time, and the

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integrated product teams within the program office provided for homogeneous units due to similar Federal guidance and functional make-up, thus minimizing bias (Salkind). The sample was taken across the individuals supporting the PM WIN-T project within PM WIN-T. This project was selected because of the magnitude of the project driving a large number of individuals associated with the program, and the level of on-going activities. This project provided a sufficient size population to meet necessary sample size and collaborative activity. The sample size of individuals was 30, meeting the minimum as determined through a power analysis using Gpower3 program (additional power analysis discussions using Gpower3 captured in Chapter 3). The instrumentation to measure collaboration was taken from the Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory (Mattessich et al., 2001). The Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory is a comprehensive research based inventory based on over a decade of continued research in the field of collaboration and is recognized by researchers and practitioners (Mattessich et al., 2001). The Wilder Factors Inventory assessment tool has been validated through multiple iterations of the factors represented in research over time (1992 and 2001) illustrating consistency and stability over time. The methodology used to develop the Wilder factors and associated instrument consisted of three major stages: identification and assessment of research studies; systematic codification of findings; and synthesis of findings from individual studies. The questionnaire was appropriate as the basis for measuring collaboration variables using technology because it was designed to measure factors leading to success of collaboration projects of teams and included the general factors defined as collaboration within the present study. The variable definitions of two key components of collaboration (communication and coordination) as well as the

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sub-definitions of each reflected in E-collaboration research and group theory were similar to the definitions of similar Wilder collaboration factors illustrating consistency in definitions. The questionnaire addressed the Wilder factor inventory statements related to communication and coordination to directly reflect the specific variables captured and defined within the study and to include the various information exchange medium options (FtF and technology). A pilot study was conducted to test the survey for clarity and measurement of the perceived effectiveness of information exchange over the various mediums for purposes of collaboration. Pilot tests are appropriate to ensure understanding and clarity for participants taking surveys (Creswell, 2008). Findings from the pilot test resulted in changes to the data collection procedure. Additionally, a test-retest was planned using these individuals to measure the stability of the instrument (Salkind, 2009). Electronic distribution of an invitation to participate in the study, as well as the electronic survey, was utilized. The use of the Internet for survey distribution is appropriate due to convenience, reduced cost, and the advent of various survey distribution applications designed to systematically collect data (Chandler, 2009). A letter of permission to use the Wilder Collaboration Inventory for the purposes of this study was obtained (See Appendix A). Participants were contacted by Email and invited to participate in the study (See Appendix B) and were provided an informed consent form for signature (See Appendix C). A Letter of Permission to distribute the survey by electronic means (See Appendix D) was obtained from the Commander of the Program Management (PM) shop. The Survey Instrument (See Appendix E) was a series of statements requesting the participants to score perceived effectiveness of information exchange and interaction

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associated with collaboration over synchronous and asynchronous technology (teleconference, IM, Email, and FtF). The survey was administered through an online survey application (www.surveymethods.com). This allowed independent collection of the completed surveys, survey completion rates, automated coding, and secure access (password protected) to download the compiled data for analysis. Data gathered through the survey was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) graduate Pack 15.0 for Windows. Using SPSS was appropriate for the analysis (one-way, within subjects ANOVA) because it is a statistical tool designed to provide the ability to compare mean scores of the variables (in this case, communication and coordination) across the mediums (Arbuckle, 2006; Pallant, 2007). Such a statistical tool and analysis was necessary to test the hypotheses and meet the intent of the study. The measured variables were the elements associated with group collaboration over various communications mediums for information exchange. The independent variable was the type of medium (FtF and technologies) and the dependent variables were communication and coordination (collaboration). The mediums form the four levels of the independent variable. The perceived effectiveness of information exchange for purposes of collaboration (communication and coordination) was the dependent variable. A one-way, within subjects, ANOVA was used to explore possible differences in the perceived effectiveness of communication and coordination across the mediums: FtF collaboration; teleconference collaboration; IM collaboration as a measure of synchronous technology; and Email collaboration as a measure of asynchronous technology.

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The research design was appropriate to meet the study purpose because to understand if technology has effects on collaboration, the measurements of perceived effects across the mediums had to be measured and compared. One-way ANOVA provides a comparative capability (Arbuckle, 2006; Pallant, 2007). A quasi-experiment is appropriate because the team currently uses the technologies, providing for a natural setting and lack of control group (Salkind, 2008). Cluster sampling has advantages of time savings and practicality and was applied in this situation due to the homogenous nature of the IPTs within the PM office (Salkind). It was not practical to survey every product team using technology for collaboration. The application of results due to the nonsystematic sampling to other product teams is high (Salkind). Research Question Researchers have found technology mediums to have effects on collaboration while supporting a need for further understanding and research (Cramton, 2001; Qureshi et al., 2006; Walsh & Maloney, 2007). Technology medium interactiveness has effects on virtual information exchange (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). Asynchronous and synchronous technologies are often used together to support virtual collaboration with each providing benefits and constraints due to the nature of the technology (Hastings, 2009). The study of the technology effects of medium types (synchronous and asynchronous) on collaboration in cross functional dispersed teams within a Federal IPT provided an opportunity to further understanding of types of media on collaboration. The elements associated with the components that make up the independent variables of collaboration (characteristics and descriptors of communication and coordination) were founded on small group theory (Arrow et al., 2000) and e-collaboration (Qureshi et al.) and found in

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existing collaboration research (Mattessich et al., 2001). The research question addressed the purpose of the study, which was to measure perceived effects of collaboration over technology. The key research question was: Does the perceived effectiveness of information exchange, measured in terms of collaboration (communication and coordination), differ depending on the type of interaction used (synchronous technology, asynchronous technology, or face to face interaction)? Hypotheses Technology mediums have been shown to have effects on collaboration (Cramton, 2001; Qureshi et al., 2006; Walsh & Maloney, 2007). Teams use synchronous and asynchronous technologies for collaboration (Hastings, 2009). Differing types of technologies have been shown to have different perceived effectiveness on collaboration with FtF being most effective, then followed by speech, then followed by text (Ostergaard et al., 2005). Each type of technology has benefits and constraints due to the nature of the technology (Hastings). Additionally, various media meet differing needs for purposes of collaboration. FtF enables trust (critical element to collaboration), real-time media help keep people synchronized enabling interactions, and asynchronous media enables linking over time used to broadcast actions (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). The purpose of the hypotheses was to test whether statistically significant differences between synchronous, asynchronous and FtF information exchange existed in terms of effects on collaboration.

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Hypothesis 1-3: Effect due to Technology Technology has been documented through research efforts to have effects on collaboration (Cramton, 2001; Qureshi et al., 2006; Walsh & Maloney, 2007). Technology effects have been shown to negatively impact shared meaning, team processes and understanding (Cramton; Hammond et al., 2005; Qureshi et al.). FtF collaboration does not use technology and provides the most context rich medium with perceived effectiveness being greater than exchanges using technology (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). Investigations into the effects of communication modes during collaborative reviews indicate a variation in perceived effectiveness across FtF, speech and text with FtF being most effective (Ostergaard et al., 2005). Testing information exchanges for purposes of collaboration over technologies was intended to illustrate perceived negative effects when compared to FtF information change. The null hypotheses predicted no perceived effects on information exchange due to technology; hence, the perceived effectiveness of information exchange for purposes of collaboration would not differ between FtF and various technologies (teleconferencing, IM and Email). The alternate hypotheses predicted a significant difference in the perceived effectiveness of information exchange for purposes of collaboration between FtF and each of the three technologies. To determine the accuracy of the alternative hypothesis, the research tested the null hypotheses. • H1 0 : The perceived effectiveness of information exchange does not differ significantly between FtF interaction and Email. • H1 A : The perceived effectiveness of information exchange does differ significantly between FtF interaction and Email with FtF being higher.

Full document contains 205 pages
Abstract: The paradigm of using technology to facilitate collaboration across teams and organization indicates an increased importance in understanding the current known effects of technology on collaboration. Such effects can negatively impact collaboration (communication and coordination) reducing common knowledge and understanding, hampering performance across virtual teams. The purpose of this quantitative quasi-experimental study was to determine and measure the perceived effectiveness of information exchange over different mediums (synchronous and asynchronous modes of interaction) for the purpose of collaboration (communication and coordination) within a Federal Integrated Product Team (IPT). A statistical One-way Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA), within group repeated measures was implemented to measure perceived effectiveness of information exchange in terms of collaboration across Face-to-Face (FtF), teleconference, Instant Messaging (IM) and Email). Sixty IPT members voluntarily participated in a survey measuring perceived effects in information exchange for communication and coordination. Results indicated significant differences in IM, teleconferencing and Email when compared to FtF and significant differences between IM/teleconferencing and Email. These findings indicate technology has effects on information exchange for purposes of collaboration and the type of technology (synchronous and asynchronous) can have differing effects. Implications for management and leadership are to manage suites of technology and implement strategies to use technology to better support collaborative activities and enhance team performance.