Traveling blues: The effect of relocation on partially distributed teams

Nathan Bos, Judith Olson, Arik Cheshin, Yong Suk Kim, Ning Nan, N. Sadat Shami

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This experimental study looks at how relocation affected the collaboration patterns of partially-distributed work groups. Partially distributed teams have part of their membership together in one location and part joining at a distance. These teams have some characteristics of collocated teams, some of distributed (virtual) teams, and some dynamics that are unique. Previous experiments have shown that these teams are vulnerable to in-groups forming between the collocated and distributed members. In this study we switched thelocations of some of the members about halfway through the experiment to see what effect it would have on these ingroups. People who changed from being isolated 'telecommuters' to collocators very quickly formed new collaborative relationships. People who were moved out of a collocated room had more trouble adjusting, and tried unsuccessfully to maintain previous ties. Overall, ollocation was a more powerful determiner of collaboration patterns than previous relationships. Implications and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI'05 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA'05
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2005 - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: 2 Apr 20057 Apr 2005

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


ConferenceConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • Collocation
  • Computer mediated communication
  • Partially-distributed work
  • Travel
  • Virtual teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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