- Subgroup biases in partially-distributed collaboration
- Journal of Information Technology Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 2 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Modern organizations often bring together groups in which some people are collocated and some remote. These groups often take the form of loosely-organized networks rather than hierarchies. Partially distributed groups may have characteristics that are different from fully collocated or fully distributed groups, such as being particularly vulnerable to subgroup formation. A ten-person simulation game called Shape Factory was used to model partially-distributed collaboration networks. We found that biases in trade patterns did occur among both collocated and remote (isolated) players. Collocated players formed a strong subgroup, with a bias toward ingroup trading, which almost immediately led remote players to form their own subgroup. These groups strengthened over time. Despite being at a technological disadvantage, the remote group performed as collocated workers.
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