Trust and Technology in Virtual Teams
Steven A. Morris (Middle Tennessee State University, USA), Thomas E. Marshall (Auburn University, USA) and R. Kelly Rainer Jr. (Auburn University, USA)
Copyright: © 2003
Pressured by the growing need for fast response times, mass customization and globalization, many organizations are turning to flexible organizational forms, such as virtual teams. Virtual teams consist of cooperative relationships supported by information technology to overcome limitations of time and/or location. Virtual teams require their members to rely heavily on the use of information technology and trust in coworkers. This study investigates the impacts that the reliance on information technology (operationalized in our study via the user satisfaction construct) and trust have on the job satisfaction of virtual team members. The study findings reveal that both user satisfaction and trust are positively related to job satisfaction in virtual teams, while system use was not found to play a significant role. These findings emphasize that organizations seeking the benefits of flexible, IT-enabled virtual teams must consider both the level of trust among colleagues, and the users’ satisfaction with the information technology on which virtual teams rely.