Trust, Rationality and the Virtual Team

Trust, Rationality and the Virtual Team

Peter Murphy (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-166-7.ch013
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Virtual teams need trust in order to function. Trust is an efficient way of gaining group cooperation. Online, trust is more effective than instruction or authority or status in getting people who are largely strangers to one another to work together. But trust is not a simple quality. The kind of trust that is the cement of distance relations of a global or virtual kind is different from the type of trust that binds face-to-face interactions and from the procedural kind of trust that operates in regional or national organizations of a traditional managerial kind. This study looks at the ways in which trust between virtual team members is generated. “Trust between strangers” is optimally generated when persons are allowed to self-organize complex orders and create objects and processes of high quality. Also looked at are the kinds of personalities best suited to working in a virtual collaborative environment. The study concludes that persons who prefer strong social or procedural environments will be less effective in a virtual environment. In contrast, self-steering (“stoic”) personality types have characteristics that are optimally suited to virtual collaboration.

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