This paper explores the critical role conversational coherence plays in facilitating the ongoing, distributed work of one virtual team as they engage in instant messaging (IM) conversations to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate. In studying the IM conversations of team members over the course of a month, a number of challenges to coherence emerged as they communicated with each other and worked together. These challenges include two previously identified challenges—lack of simultaneous feedback, and disrupted turn adjacency—and two additional challenges: multi-tasking, and authority. We describe the team’s responses to these challenges and conclude by discussing implications for research.
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