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Virtual Organization Workshop 2 - Fall 1999

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Project description

In the 1999 Virtual Organization Workshop, graduate management students at University of Auckland, University of Western Australia, and George Mason University worked together for six weeks in three or four-member geographically-dispersed, technology-enabled teams.   Assignments included creating a team "totem" and posting it to the World Wide Web, and analyzing an international change management case and writing a paper describing the team's conclusions.  In 1999, George Mason University awarded Professor Cramton a "Celebration of Learning" grant to support continued development of the Virtual Organization Workshop.

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Learning objectives

bullet To deepen understanding of international change management and consulting issues
bullet To develop skills for communication and collaboration, especially as required for success in geographically-dispersed teams, inter-organizational teams, and international teams, all of which are becoming more prevalent and important
bullet To develop skills for working cross-culturally
bullet To expand technical skills through the use of groupware, electronic mail, web pages, audio and video-conferencing, and document sharing in the service of collaboration
bullet To leverage the expertise and resources of faculty and students at the three participating universities in the service of everyone's professional and creative development


Virtual Organization Workshop 1 - Fall 1998

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Project description

In the 1998 Virtual Organization Workshop, graduate management students at Bocconi University, Carnegie Mellon University and George Mason University worked together for several weeks in geographically-dispersed, technology-enabled teams to analyze an international change management and consulting case and write a paper describing their conclusions. Most of the teams had three members, one at each of the three universities.

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Virtual Learning Environment Project (VLE) - Spring 1996  

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Project description

In Spring 1996, graduate students at nine universities on three continents were assigned to six-member teams and given the assignment to create business plans for Internet-based new ventures. They did this work by using electronic mail and listservs, Internet-based "chat rooms," FTP, Internet homepages, Internet search engines, faxing, and occasionally, the telephone. Teams were composed of pairs of students from three different universities. Aside from the co-located pairs, no team members met face-to-face.


Participating universities and discipline

Graduate students participating in this project came from universities in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Portugal.  Disciplines represented were Organizational Behavior, Management Information Systems and Strategy.


Learning objectives

bullet A deeper understanding of teamwork and communication, and improved skills
bulletExperience with electronically-mediated teamwork 
bullet Improved computer skills and greater familiarity with Internet resources
bulletIntroduction to the world of electronic commerce 


Links to published papers related to this project

"The mutual knowledge problem and its consequences for dispersed collaboration," Organization Science, 2001, 12(3), 214-230.

"Virtual learning environment: Preparing for knowledge work in the 21st century," Journal of Computer Information Systems, Summer 1998 (with B. Lobert, S. Gauvin and D. Scott).

"Crossing the international teaching divide: The evaluation of an Internet-based teaching project," Journal of Teaching in International Business, 1999, 10 (3&4), 61-80 (with D. Scott, S. Gauvin, B. Jones, and G. Steinke).