Exploring the discursive construction of subgroups in global virtual teams

Jennifer L. Gibbs*, Maggie Boyraz, Anu Sivunen, Emma Nordbäck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The global teams literature has increasingly documented challenges due to demographic faultlines. While this literature tends to assume that faultlines are fixed and produce negative outcomes for teams, organizational communication scholars have long regarded team processes as dynamic and fluid. Drawing on a CCO perspective, we offer a re-conceptualization of subgroups as dynamic and discursively constructed. This study draws on an in-depth, longitudinal analysis of two global virtual teams to examine the discursive construction of subgroups and the role they play in team dynamics. Through a multi-method analysis of a corpus of 839 emails and 16 interviews with members of two global project teams over their lifecycle, we find that the discursive construction of subgroups evolves over time and plays an important role in explaining how they are experienced by team members. These findings have important theoretical and practical implications for overcoming subgroup challenges in global teams.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Publication statusPublished - 02.12.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • CCO
  • discourse
  • diversity
  • global virtual teams
  • subgroups

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


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