The Group Dynamics of Telecooperation: The Use of E-mail During the Israeli Academics Strike

  • Celia T. Romm
  • Nava Pliskin
Part of the Information Engineering und IV-Controlling book series (IEIVC)


The major objective of this paper is to study the group dynamics of telecooperation, with particular emphasis on the group development aspects of telecooperation activities. After a review of the relevant literature on group processes and e-mail (in section 1), the paper proceeds to discuss an extensive case study, the story of the 1994 strike of Israeli academics (in section 3). Data for the case was derived from in-depth content analysis of e-mail messages which appeared on ACADEMIA, the network established by the strikers to support their struggle. The analysis of the e-mail messages demonstrates that during the strike this virtual community has gone through a series of phases that marked its evolution from a large, disorganised group of individuals, into a united, close-knit, community. The discussion (in section 4) relates the group dynamics in the case to existing models of face to face, small group interaction, suggesting that e-mail created an “illusion of smallness”, enabling a large group to experience the developmental patterns typical of small groups. The paper is concluded (in section 5) with a discussion of implications from this research to theory and practice.


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© Betriebswirtschaftlicher Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler GmbH, Wiesbaden 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia T. Romm
  • Nava Pliskin

There are no affiliations available

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