Emergence of differing electronic communication norms within partially distributed teams

Arik Cheshin, Yongsuk Kim, D. Bos Nathan, Nan Ning, Judith S. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern organizations often consist of teams in which some people are collocated and some are remote. These teams are in-between being entirely virtual to entirely face-to-face and are referred to as partially distributed teams. Partially distributed teams function and operate in two different media environments, varying in availability of communication channels. These media environments may encourage different communication patterns, widening a gap produced by distance. In two laboratory studies we demonstrate that different electronic communication norms (ECNs) emerge among members of the same team based on their media environments. Most of the norms regarding use of electronic communication persisted even when media environment was changed. This difference in ECNs might serve as an additional faultline, causing an additional rift within distributed teams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personnel Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication norms
  • Electronic communication norm
  • Faultlines
  • Partially distributed teams
  • Subgroups
  • Virtual teams
  • Virtual work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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