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Eastern Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2017

EAM 2017 Proceedings »

Subgroup Formation in Partially Distributed Global Virtual Teams: The Effects of Faultlines

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This paper presents results of a preliminary systematic review addressing the following question: “what characteristics and processes lead to faultline salience and the formation of subgroups in partially-distributed teams?” Results showed that faultlines are frequently compounded or layered by multiple characteristics and processes. Faultlines commonly align with geographic dispersion, cultural differences and language barriers. Findings suggested that subtle themes of shared context, power, status, and configuration are significant contributors to faultline activation versus dormancy. Once formed, subgroups frequently display in-group/out-group effects. The literature showed mixed or contradictory impacts of these dynamics leading to both team conflict and learning.


Laura D'Antonio    
George Mason University
United States


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