Herding in Virtual Teams: A Three Stage Model

Aggarwal, A.
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Herding has been studied in the context of people imitating leader(s) or in the context of animals following other animals. Research related to teams, however, is limited. Herding can lead to functional or dysfunctional teams resulting in optimal, sub-optimal or no outcome. We study herding in context of teams with a measurable outcome and discuss how they impact group performance. We use Conradt’s model of four levels of decision making with group member’s characteristics (incompetent, indifferent, imitator and interactor) and propose a three stage model to study herding. Our study indicates that herding is dynamic and develops as levels of communication changes with incompetence and indifference of members. Our study also reveals that ”partial” herding can occur where some group member(s) herd while others continue the work. This study is significant since it includes indifference and incompetence as two new factors that can lead to herding possibly leading to sub optimal results. Professors/managers making teams should pay attention to incompetence to avoid herding and suboptimal results. Future research areas are also discussed.
Emerging Issues in e-Collaboration Distributed Group Decision-Making: Opportunities and Challenges, partial herding, three stages herding, virtaul groups
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