Emotions and the spatialization of social relations in text-based computer-mediated communication

Evangelia Baralou, Peter Mcinnes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper advances our knowledge of emotions in virtual teams using text-based computer mediated communication (TB-CMC). The literature’s preoccupation with the absence of physical cues of emotion has meant we lack both an understanding of how emotions are co-constructed through interaction, and an explanation of their role in the social relations of virtual teams. Adopting a communicative view of emotion, we present the findings of a longitudinal study of a virtual team within a trans-national collaborative project. We present three aspects of interaction that demonstrate how team members’ experience and understanding of the emotions expressed through, and suppressed from, text-based messages are influenced by the styles and patterns of interaction enabled by technology. Where our three aspects tend towards stasis, we argue that emotion provides a temporal dimension to a process of ‘spatializing’ social relations by connoting what should change, or what should endure, between people.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)160–175
    Number of pages16
    JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
    Issue number2
    Early online date18 Jul 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2013


    • emotion
    • interaction
    • virtual teams
    • speech genres
    • TB-CMC
    • social relations


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