From the case analysis, the anonymous group (Team B) tended to be very polite, and not go into great lengths in discussion compared to the identified groups (Team A and C). Moreover, in Team B, although two members were frustrated

Подпись: Table 3. Cross case summary Factor Team A Team B Team C Influenced By Gender Male Male Female N.A. Anonymity No Yes No N.A. Linguistic acts Task-related acts Moderate High Moderate Anonymity; Leader emergence Socio-emotional acts High Low Moderate Anonymity Norms and rules acts Low High Low Member Awareness, Leader emergence Group dynamics Member awareness High Low High Socio-emotional acts Leader emergence High High Moderate Gender, Conformity Member conformity Moderate Moderate High Gender Outcome Satisfaction with collaboration process High Low High Socio-emotional acts, Conformity Group Performance Low High Moderate Task-related acts, Norms and rules acts
with a member as revealed in the interviews, over CMC they did not express their feelings directly to the member, but said that they had a “nice” time working with each other, parting on cordial terms. Conversely the identified groups shared more personal information with others such as their personal experiences and feelings.

This indicates that there is less socio-emotional discussion in anonymous communication (p1). Anonymous communications help mask any status differences that could potentially be perceived by members in e-collaboration and depersonalizes the communication.

Подпись: Anommity Influence of Anonymity on Group Process Influence of Anonymity on Group Process Подпись: Performance

Influence of Anonymity on Group ProcessFigure 1. Process flow in virtual teams

Подпись: Satisfaction+ Leader Emergence

Influence of Anonymity on Group Process



Influence of Anonymity on Group Process

The anonymous mode of communication is shown to be effective in encouraging more effort and participation in the virtual team by overcom­ing members’ inner restraints and evaluation apprehension (Valacich et al., 1992). Anonymity provides members with equal opportunities to ex­press ideas by reducing the cues of social status and thus the fear of disapproval from other members. Research has shown that the reduction of social cues caused by computer-mediated communica­tion encourages greater task-related discussion (Siegel et al., 1986). This is consistent with the findings from the cross-case analysis, i. e., there are more task-related acts compared to socio­emotional acts in anonymous communication (p2).