Talking a team into being in online workplace collaborations: the discourse of virtual work

Erika Darics, Maria Cristina Gatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Digital communication technologies led to a revolution in how people interact at work: relying on computer-mediated communication technologies is now a must, rather than an alternative. This empirical study investigates how colleagues in a virtual team use synchronous online communication platform in the workplace. Inspired by the conceptualisation of web-based communication platforms as tool, place or context of social construction, we explore the discursive strategies that contribute to the construction of the team’s shared sense of purpose and identity, a collegial atmosphere and consequently lead to effective collaboration. The close analyses of real-life data from a multinational workplace provide insights into the everyday communication practices of virtual team members. Our findings supplement organisational literature based on etic observations of the effectiveness of virtual work and provide a basis for further theorisations about how communication technologies affect the ecology of and discourse practices in computer-mediated communication at work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-257
Number of pages21
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

© Sage 2019. The final publication is available via Sage at


  • Collaborative team communication
  • computer-mediated communication
  • computer-mediated discourse analysis
  • conversation analysis
  • instant messaging
  • interactional identity processes
  • social constructivism
  • virtual team construction
  • virtual workplace


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