The blurring boundaries between synchronicity and asynchronicity: new communicative situations in work-related Instant Messaging

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Instant messaging is one of the most popular communication technologies in virtual teams, enabling interactions to intertwine whole working days, thus creating the sense of copresence for team members who are geographically dispersed. Through close linguistic analyses of naturally occurring data from a virtual team, this article discusses the implications of two novel communicative situations enabled by instant messaging: presence information and the persistence of transcript. The preliminary findings of this study indicate that these new communicative situations require the flouting or rethinking of previously existing interactional norms and that communicative practices employed by the team members are not yet conventionalized/normalized, the expectations and interpretations of interactional rituals and timing vary highly, even within the same virtual team.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-358
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Business Communication
Issue number4
Early online date11 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • computer-mediated discourse, Instant Messaging, communication in virtual teams, interactional norms, chronemic cues


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