Skip to Main Content
Distributed work is an increasingly common phenomenon in a number of technical and professional settings, and the complexity of this work requires high degrees of knowledge sharing and integration that move beyond assembly-line approaches to collaboration. Since participants in distributed-work settings rely almost exclusively on written and spoken language to mediate their collaborative relationships, professional communication faculty need educational approaches that empower students with language practices designed specifically to support effective teaming in these complex environments. To address this need, we employ discourse analysis and Speech Act Theory to identify these language practices in a case study of two cohorts of distributed, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural student teams. The findings show correlations between language practices and successful collaboration. These correlations have significant implications for teaching and practice.