This study explored the creative process in virtual teams, groups of geographically dispersed organizational members who carry out the majority of their activities through information technology. Using a naturalistic paradigm, the study specifically investigated (a) how the creative process evolves in virtual teams, and (b) how virtual teams communicate while producing creative work. Through maximum variation sampling, 36 individuals from 9 teams were selected. One semistructured telephone interview was conducted with each participant. Team members also completed a background survey. Grounded theorizing was used to generate an in-depth understanding of the phenomena under investigation. Four stages of the creative process emerged-idea generation, development, finalization/closure, and evaluation. Communication methods specific to each stage are discussed. Three work design approaches used during the creative process emerged-the wheel, modular, and iterative approaches. Implications and areas of future research are addressed.
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