University of Twente Student Theses


Let's have a virtual coffee: How MS Teams encourages informal interaction between peers

Tromer, R.B. (2021) Let's have a virtual coffee: How MS Teams encourages informal interaction between peers.

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Abstract:Spontaneous conversations happening around the coffee machine at the office belong to the past as, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are ought to work from home and collaborate via groupware systems like Microsoft Teams (MS Teams). Nonetheless, these informal interactions between peers are crucial for the enhancement of collaboration and in turn positive organizational outcomes. It is widely acknowledged by literature that groupware systems cannot substitute the face-to-face casual chit-chats. However, it is not well explored how groupware systems like MS Teams encourage or discourage these interactions. This study aims to fill the literature gap by building upon the affordance perspective to informal interactions from Fayard and Weeks (2007) and the affordance perspective to information systems of Leonardi (2011). Gaining these new insights are relevant as chances are that the majority of the teams will keep using MS Teams as the main communication channel. A qualitative study has been done by conducting interviews in a team of the Heineken Company. Results indicate that the concepts of environmental setting, team culture, familiarity, and the features of MS Teams are important constructs in encouraging informal interactions via the groupware system. This research suggests a model which illustrates these findings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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