Technological Collaboration and Trust in Virtual Teams

Technological Collaboration and Trust in Virtual Teams

Steven A. Morris (Middle Tennessee State University, USA), Thomas E. Marshall (Auburn University, USA) and R. Kelly Rainer (Auburn University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch486
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A hypercompetitive environment of global competition, reduced product cycle times, and rapid change has forced organizations to seek new structures and practices that allow them to react with speed and agility. One structure that has gained increasing support among organizations seeking to improve organizational agility has been the virtual team (Mowshowitz, 1997). Virtual teams are the application of virtual organization concepts to team environments. Virtual teams use information technology (IT) to remove barriers of time, location, and organizational boundaries to allow the integration of skills through collaborative relationships based on trust and professionalism to meet specific objectives. Despite the growing popularity of virtual teams among businesses, more needs to be known about the nature of these teams (Bell & Kozlowski, 2002). For example, some research has found virtual teams to outperform traditional face-to-face teams (e.g., Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps & Lipnack, 2004; Schmidt, Montoya-Weiss & Massey, 2001), while other research indicates otherwise (Cramton, 2002). It is important that organizations understand the implications of these virtual teams so that they may be used in the most effective manner, and under the most appropriate circumstances.

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