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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

So What Makes A Better Business Team? Ask NJIT’s Jerry Fjermestad

Want to know more about getting productivity from your management team?  Then ask Jerry Fjermestad, an associate professor in NJIT’s School of Management. Fjermestad has learned, based on earlier research that high-performing virtual management teams act differently than low-performing ones.

“Communication Differences in Virtual Design Teams: Findings from a Multi-Method Analysis of High and Low-Performing Experimental Teams,” co-authored by Fjermestad with Penn State University Professor Rosalie J. Ocker, appeared in the Data Base for Advances in Information Systems (February, 2008).

This research will be highlighted on Nov. 6, 2009 when Fjermestad receives the Bright Idea Award from Seton Hall University and the NJ Policy Research Organization (NJPRO) at NJIT. The material, considered one of the top 10 manuscripts from over 130 entries, will also be reprinted in the Eighth Annual Volume of the Published Research Works of Business Faculty Within New Jersey.

The multi-method study looked at four high-performing and four low-performing fully-distributed virtual design teams. Results indicated that these teams were similar in terms of the number of messages exchanged, the amount of communication devoted to aspects of design, and the amount and proportion of communication spent on team coordination, supportive commentary, and other topics.

High-performing teams were more verbose, noted the researchers. They  communicated more words plus spent less time in brainstorming activities. High-performing teams engaged in more critical commentary and active debate compared to their low-performing counterparts. High-performing teams conducted more in-depth discussions in the form of argumentation, as ideas were developed through an interactive debate of the pros and cons of issues. This debate resulted in the need for summaries, which served a dual role as they became intermediate steps for producing a report

Fjermestad, of Orangeburg, NY, researches how corporate leaders communicate better using computers, computer-mediated communications and leadership, electronic customer relationship management and information personalization, privacy and security. Last month, he received the NJIT Excellence in Research Award.

Fjermestad has co-edited 11 special journal issues about information systems. They have included International Journal of Electronic Commerce; Electronic Markets; Group Decision and Negotiation. His publications include one edited book about customer relationship management and more than 100 papers in scholarly journals.

He serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Information Science and Technology; International Journal of Electronic Collaboration; International Journal of Information Security and Privacy and more. Fjermestad received his doctorate from Rutgers University in management information systems. This is the third time, since 2006, that he received the Bright Idea Award. 

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.