Research Questions Exploration – Academic Papers – C&T Conferences

Paper: Global Online Meetings in Virtual Teams – from Media Choice to Interaction Negotiation

Topic: ethnographical study of community of technology experts within a global car manufacturing company that uses information technology to communicate and collaborate in global, virtual teams.

Research Question(s):

What characterizes the use and choice of information and communication technology in global online meetings of virtual teams?


Studies of virtual teams in real life settings where they can observe the use of media in situations where parameters like:

  • technical/digital infrastructure and availability
  • team members prior experiences and knowledge
  • common understanding of task and technology

are not controlled and pre-designed by researchers as they are in experimental settings.


  • discussions, negotiations, compromises and joint problem-solving characterize media choices made in virtual teamwork
  • practitioners are adding new media to ongoing interactions, rather than using media in sequence
  • a number of media can be used in parallel, one medium alone is not used


Pongolini, M., Lundin, J., & Svensson, L. (2011). Global online meetings in virtual teams. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies – C&T ’11, (July), 108.


Paper: Plugged into the Community: Social Motivators in Online Goal-setting groups

Topic: This paper examines the influence of 2 social factors in an online “song-writing” challenge community:

  • early feedback evoking a shared social identity
  • one-to-one collaborations with other members

Research Question: What features of goal-setting communities can influence membr motivation and performance?


Combining 5 years of longitudinal behavorial data with member surveys, they found that users who engage in these social features perform better on their goals than those who are non-social

Early social experience are associated with strong community-centric behaviours in the long term, including providing feedback to others


Burke, M., & Settles, B. (2011). Plugged in to the community. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies – C&T ’11, 1.


Paper: Measuring Self-Focus Bias in Community-maintained knowledge Repositories

Research Question: Does an inherent bias based on shared personal opinions exist in community-maintained knowledge repositories?

What is self-focus? Self-focus is a novel way of understanding a type of Bias in community-maintained Web 2.0 graph structures.


The technique used is an innately “hyperlingual” approach – they appraise and compare self-focus that exists in 15 different language editions of Wikipedia, analyzing over 8 million articles and 230 million links.

At a theoretical level, the work presents a formal description of self-focus bias, demonstrates its existense and provides a computational methods for measuring it. (nodes = articles and edges = links)


Hecht, B., & Gergle, D. (2009). Measuring self-focus bias in community-maintained knowledge repositories. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Communities and Technologies – C&T ’09, 11.


Paper: Do we speak the same language? Design goals and culture clashes in an online forum for young people

Case Study:

This paper explores the social scene created on a newly developed online service for increasing the study motivation of 16-18 year old students in vocational education in Finland. Developers introduced a communal chat space to engineer a sense of community on the site but the results show the students used the chat space in line with their prior experience of online interaction while the developers had designed it for a completely different use/experience.


The study is qualitiative, based on the principles of online ethnography and nexus analysis and it is focused on identifying and describing the elements that shape the social action taking place.

The case study involved 8 months of observation and surveys to the the students at the beginning and the end of the period.

A developer and a contact person from the school were also contacted.

The main aim of the case study was to gain a thorough understanding of the interaction taking place on the site through long term observation and contact with the different participants in the project – students, staff and the developers


Martinviita, A., Kuure, L., & Luoma, P. (2015). Do we speak the same language? Design goals and culture clashes in an online forum for young people. Proceeding C&T ’15 Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, 69–78.


Paper: Making Space for values: Communication and Value Levers in a virtual team

Topic: This paper uses ethnography to examine how and why ethical and social issues arise during the design of named data networking, a new approach to internet architecture.

It discusses how particular communication modes may enable or constrain value levers: practices which encourage discussion of values during design.

Research Questions:

  1. What communications modes and work practices encourage value levers on a virtual team?
  2. What communications forms and work practices constrain value levers on a virtual team?


They address these questions through a qualitative analysis of ethnographic field notes and meeting transcripts gathered during a year as embedded researchers in the Named Data Networking.


Shilton, K., & Koepfler, J. (2013). Making Space for Values: Communication & Values Levers in a Virtual Team. Proc. Intl. Conf. on Communities and Technologies (C&T), 110–119.


Paper: Supporting Community in 3rd Places with situated Social Software

Topic: The Community (CoCollage) is designed to cultivate communit in a café by bringing the richness of online social software into a physical community space.

This paper desribes the CoCollage system, reports on insights and experiences resulting from a 2 month deployment of the system, focusing on the impact the system has had on the sense of community within the café.

Research Question: Did the CoCollage deployment have a meaningful impact on people’s community experiences within the café over a two month period.


Mccarthy, J. F., Farnham, S. D., Patel, Y., Ahuja, S., Norman, D., Hazlewood, W. R., & Lind, J. (2009). Supporting Community in Third Places with Situated Social Software. Communities and Technologies, 225–234.



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