Virtual Teams and the Appropriation of Communication Technology: Exploring the Concept of Media Stickiness
This paper reports on an exploratory study ofthe evolving use of communication tools by sixglobally distributed teams. The analysissuggest that although teams have similarstart-up conditions they evolve in differentways. We describe these differences as being aresult of the different routine patterns ofmedia use that the team members mutuallyenacted. Based on an analysis of six US-Dutchvirtual teams, we propose the notion of `mediastickiness', a phenomenon the teamsexperienced during the process of structuringmedia-use patterns. We will argue that in thecase of virtual teams, the evolution of mediausage seems to be path dependent. Steps takenby a team in the early stages of its life cycleconstrain later flexibility in terms of mediausage. Media stickiness has severalimplications both for the way to manage virtualteams as well as for the way teams deal withinformation problems that seem to be endemicfor global virtual teams.