AI and Society 26 (3):233-245 (2011)

We explore in this paper the relation between activities, communication channels and media, and common ground building in global teams. We define re-representation as a sequence of representations of the same concept using different communication channels and media. We identified the re - representation technique to build common ground that is used by team members during multimodal and multimedia communicative events in cross-disciplinary, geographically distributed settings. Our hypotheses are as follows: (1) Significant sources of information behind decisions and request for actions are embedded within the fabric of communicative events in which participants use both informal and formal media to express their ideas. Capturing these information sources can facilitate common ground building and accelerate the execution of action requests. (2) Re-representations of concepts, i.e., sequences of representations using diverse media and communication channels, mediate and accelerate common ground building. (3) The use of intra- or interdisciplinary re-representations correlates with high team performance, i.e., effective team process and high product quality. We used AEC Global Teamwork course offered in 2008–2009 as the testbed for our study to validate our hypothesis
Keywords Global teamwork  Common ground  Re-representation  Communication channels  Activities
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DOI 10.1007/s00146-010-0303-5
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