An Empirical Investigation of Virtual World Projects and Metaverse Technology Capabilities

Dawn Owens, Alanah Mitchell, Deepak Khazanchi, Ilze Zigurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Metaverses are immersive three-dimensional virtual worlds (VWs) where people interact with each other and their environment, using the metaphor of the real world but without its physical limitations. Unique technology capabilities of metaverses have the potential to enhance the conduct of virtual projects, but little is known about virtual worlds in this context. Virtual project teams struggle in meeting stated project outcomes due to challenges related to communication, shared understanding, and coordination. One way to address these challenges is to consider the use of emerging technologies, such as metaverses, to minimize the impact on virtual project teams. Applying a theoretical foundation for virtual teams in metaverses that includes both technology capabilities and the social interaction that takes place in the metaverse environment, we conducted an empirical investigation of project teams in a virtual world setting. The study examined the interplay of communication, representation, interaction, and team process tools with behaviors that led to role clarity, shared understanding, and coordination. While each individual technology capability contributed to project execution and outcomes, much of the power of the environment emerged through the interplay of social behaviors and technology capabilities. The results have intriguing implications for how metaverse technology capabilities might provide new ways to address gaps in the current research and practice of virtual project management and virtual teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-101
Number of pages28
JournalData Base for Advances in Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 12 2011


  • collaboration
  • metaverses
  • virtual project management
  • virtual teams
  • virtual world project management
  • virtual worlds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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