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Virtual/Internet Groups

The development and adoption of network-based collaboration tools and services have allowed the formation of virtual groups, or groups that exist primarily via technology-mediated interaction. The evolution of virtual groups has followed the evolution of the Internet, from groups defined by electronic mailing lists in the 1980s to the contemporary use of social networking sites, such as Facebook. Virtual groups differ in important ways from traditional groups, and these differences are the focus of practical and theoretical interest. From a practical perspective, virtual groups allow organizations to build work teams that are geographically dispersed, which can make it easier to combine far-flung expertise. In theoretical terms, virtual groups challenge many assumptions about group process, such as the importance of physical proximity and face-to-face communication for ...

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