A good team is like a well oiled machine. Members have a collective understanding of what needs to be done and how to do it (referred to as a “Shared Mental Model”), allowing them to move towards a mutual success. But how does this work for teams that communicate mostly with technology? M. Travis Maynard and Lucy L. Gilson explore this idea in their article published in the most recent issue of Group and Organization Management entitled, “The Role of Shared Mental Model Development in Understanding Virtual Team Effectiveness.”
In this article we develop a conceptual framework that examines the relationship between shared mental models, task interdependence, and virtual team performance. In addition, we use media synchronicity theory to examine how various attributes of the technologies used by virtual teams to communicate can influence the development of shared mental models. Finally, we employ a sense-making lens to explore in more detail how features inherent to different communication technologies influence the development of shared mental models. Our goal is that through examining these relationships, some of the mixed findings in prior virtual team research may be better explained.