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The Role of Face-to-Face Meetings in Technology-Supported Self-Organizing Distributed Teams

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4 Author(s)
Crowston, Kevin ; Syracuse Univ. Sch. of Inf. Studies, Syracuse ; Howison, J. ; Masango, C. ; Eseryel, U.Y.

We examine the role of face-to-face meetings in the context of technology-supported self-organizing distributed (or virtual teams), specifically free/libre open source software (FLOSS) development teams. Based on a qualitative inductive analysis of data from interviews and observations at FLOSS conferences, we identify a variety of settings in which developers meet face-to-face, and we point out the activities performed in these settings and the benefits obtained. Contrary to conventional wisdom about distributed teams, FLOSS developers generally do not meet face-to-face until the project is well under way. An additional benefit of face-to-face meetings is time away from a regular job and speed of interaction for certain kinds of tasks.

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Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 3 )