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Collaborative work in virtual environments (GROUPNIT)

The changes due to the globalization and the technological revolution 2.0 are driving organizations to develop new types of collaborative work through groups and virtual communities. These collaborative tools stablish relevant company strategies that permit to improve training and knowledge management. Therefore, they contribute to make organizations more innovative, visible and competitive.

The characteristics of collaborative work have recently changed as the users of group or virtual communities are geographically more disperse and have the possibility to combine different technological applications to respond to the requests of the project or tasks that they are carrying out (e.g. wiki, forum, social or corporative networks, etc.). In this sense, important changes occur in the relationships among users, in the processes related to the task and in its performance (e.g. identification, community consciousness, trust, leadership, conflict, productivity, quality of the knowledge…); and they need to be addressed.

Our research team aims to create cutting-edge knowledge on the effects that collaborative technologies have on individual and collective welfare from a basic perspective that then is transferred to the context applied to companies. Thus, groups and virtual communities that work in dynamic environments and complex tasks with a double objective are analysed. Objective A is developing training strategies and improving its efficiency. Objective B consists in offering guidelines to efficiently design these collaborative tools. In addition, transference activities are carried out, by means of expert training and advice to public and private organizations.

The responsible of the research group is Ana Zornoza. She is also the director of the Laboratory G2 of Ergonomics and Group Work of IDOCAL, where experiments and training related to the successful management of teams and virtual communities is conducted.

Finally, due to the recent rise of virtual interactions in the groups, the research team has designed a virtual platform for synchronous work with members distributed in different parts of Spain. This platform has been made through the current project VITEM (PSI2016-79351-P).