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On the importance of boundary objects for virtual collaboration: a review of the literature

  • In this paper, we explore the phenomenon of boundary objects in the process of virtual collaboration. Virtual collaboration is an interactive act that interconnects jointly and voluntarily collaborating individuals that are electronically linked. We regard them as virtual communities (VCs). VCs are characterised by its aim to conduce to shared understanding through an effective use of boundary objects. Artefacts that serve two or more VC members to establish collaboration are seen as boundary objects. The study at hand uses the socio-technical systems theory as a framework to categorise extant research. It draws on the concept of Carlile’s three tiers of boundary objects (syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic) to further sub-categorise scholarly publications between 2004 and 2014. This leads to an in-depth analysis on the use of boundary objects, its effect on the collaboration process as well as a first research agenda for subsequent endeavours in the field of boundary objects and virtual collaboration._x000D_ Keywords: Boundary objects, virtual collaboration, knowledge management, socio-technical systems theory

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Document Type:Article
Author:Marc Marheineke, Vivek K. VelamuriORCiD, Kathrin M. MösleinORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
Center:Center for Leading Innovation and Cooperation (CLIC)
Year of Completion:2016
In: Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 28 (2016) 9, 1108-1122 DOI 10.1080/09537325.2016.1181744