Objective: The purpose of this study is to present a review of the scholarly literature development on virtual teams and to redefine the key characteristics and features of ‘team virtuality’ and ‘virtual teams’. Even though previous literature reviews enhanced the understanding of the implications brought about by virtual teams, this study differs from earlier studies in a number of ways.
Research Design & Methods: A literature review through content and citation analyses was conducted using the Web of Science, ABI/Inform and EBSCO databases in order to comprehensively explore all definitions and characteristics of the concepts of ‘virtual team’ and ‘team virtuality’. A total of 265 articles published between 2006 and 2014 were analysed, and the details of the analyses are herein presented.
Findings: The analyses reveal that the characteristics and definitions are often contradictory and rarely correspond, thereby attesting to the lack of consensus in the literature. I present a portrait that tackles the literature’s focus on virtual team’s geographic dispersion and its dependency on electronic communication as the core sources of virtuality, as a defining characteristic of virtuality remain to be the lack of face-to-face contact.
Implications & Recommendations: The major implication is that a unified definition is proposed in order to measure virtuality more comprehensively by addressing the gap observed in past research.
Contribution & Value Added: This article contributes to the literature incorporating the studies from the most extensive fields of research. After considering different approaches and dimensional constructs, it has become clear that constructing a single dimension that all research could agree upon is an insurmountable challenge due to the variations of existing definitions as outlined in this article.
Keywords: virtual teams, team virtuality, definition, literature review, content analysis
(with E. Altili)
Since organizations have become more global, the structures in organizations have been transformed into more flexible units. With these changes, many new approaches have emerged in management practice. Among all others, virtuality in organizations received a growing attention in the last decade. Extensive amount of research confirmed the fact that virtuality plays a crucial role in organizations. Findings linked virtuality to a number of variables including organizational and behavioral outcomes, which range from team leadership to employee feelings, lack of face-to-face contact between people at the workplace resulted in fierce challenges that raised the barriers for organizational effectiveness and innovativeness. Although the dynamics of virtual working have gained much traction, only a limited number of studies addressed the impacts of virtuality at the individual and task level. This paper discusses the implications of task virtuality by elaborating its impacts on work related, behavioral outcomes as well as innovation capabilities of knowledge employees.
Keywords: Team virtuality, task virtuality, innovation capabilities, work outcomes, knowledge workers
Invisible, Therefore Isolated: Comparative Effects of Team Virtuality with Task Virtuality on Workplace Isolation and Work Outcomes
The new standards of technological and flexible arrangements have made virtual work prevalent for almost everyone in all levels of an organization. Whether in a virtual or traditional setting, current working conditions allow anyone to collaborate, work and interact with others through electronic means of communication, thereby creating a lack of face-to-face contact. Even though the dynamics of virtuality have been widely elaborated at the team level, there are still many unknowns about the impacts of virtuality experienced at an individual level. This paper aims to shed light on the relationship between workplace social isolation, job satisfaction, perceived performance and turnover intention comparing individual responses to team virtuality and task virtuality. Our findings propose that there are statistically significant relations between individual task virtuality, workplace social isolation, satisfaction, perceived performance and turnover intention in organizations. The results also reveal that task virtuality is a better predictor than team virtuality in estimating workplace social isolation and turnover intention.
Keywords: task virtuality; team virtuality; workplace isolation; job satisfaction; perceived performance; turnover intention.
- Moqbel, M., & Nah, F. F. H. (2017). Enterprise social media use and impact on performance: The role of workplace integration and positive emotions. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 9(4), 261-280.
This book consists of four different studies. The purpose of the first study is to present a review of the scholarly literature on virtual teams and to redefine the key characteristics and features of ‘team virtuality’ and ‘virtual teams’. These characteristics of virtuality form the basis of task virtuality, a novel concept, coined with the second study in this book. It is argued that with the penetration of new technologies into the workplace, virtuality has become an inseparable element of many kinds of jobs in today’s organizations. However, virtuality in organizations has usually been treated as a characteristic that is observed either at a team or organizational level, whereas the individual level impacts are often neglected. The remaining two studies in this book highlight that the task virtuality concept cause several challenges and has significant effects on employees’ feelings and work related outcomes. The results presented in this book also reveal that task virtuality possesses a better predictive capacity than team virtuality when estimating workplace isolation, job satisfaction, perceived performance and turnover intention.
Extending the Individual Level of Virtuality: Implications of Task Virtuality in Virtual and Traditional Settings
Virtuality in organizations has usually been treated as a characteristic that is observed either at a team or organizational level. However, the penetration of new technologies into our lives has transformed the entire design of organizations and teams. Not only has the design of teams and organizations changed, but the context and design of our jobs have also been impacted. Today, even employees in traditional team settings use electronic communication tools to work with multiple dispersed contacts outside of their teams and organizations, such as colleagues, clients or suppliers, who do not share the same geographical location. With all of these changes, virtuality can no longer be considered as a concept that is exclusive to virtual team members. In today’s organizations, to some extent, everyone’s tasks involve non-face-to-face contacts, irrespective of team virtuality. It therefore becomes crucial to identify the task virtuality phenomenon in organizations. With this paper, the example of Yahoo! is used as a case study to illustrate how task virtuality can be relevant for the design of organizations. Additionally, the proposed two-dimensional framework integrates both team virtuality and task virtuality elements in organizations. This framework is novel in that it not only allows us how to conceptualize the task virtuality, but also provides practical guidance for managers to identify and understand the factors leading to high task virtuality and to deal with the resulting complexities.
- Hosseini, M. R., Zuo, J., Chileshe, N., & Baroudi, B. (2015). Evaluating virtuality in teams: A conceptual model. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 27(4), 385-404.
- Pineda, R. C. (2015). Task virtuality and its effect on student project team effectiveness. The E-Journal of Business Education & Scholarship of Teaching, 9(2), 28-38.
- Orhan, M. A., Rijsman, J. B., & Van Dijk, G. M. (2016). Invisible, therefore isolated: comparative effects of team virtuality with task virtuality on workplace isolation and work outcomes. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 32(2), 109-122.
- Santillan, C., & Horwitz, S. K. (2017). Application of Collaboration Technology to Manage Diversity in Global Virtual Teams: The ThinkLet-Based CE Approach. In Information Resources Management Association (Eds.) Remote Work and Collaboration: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice, (pp. 131-157). IGI Global.
- Santillan, C., & Horwitz, S. K. (2017). Application of Collaboration Technology to Manage Diversity in Global Virtual Teams: The ThinkLet-Based CE Approach. In J. Prescott (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Race, Gender, and the Fight for Equality, (pp. 240-266). IGI Global.
- Varty, C. T., O’Neill, T. A., & Hambley, L. A. (2017). Leading Anywhere Workers: A Scientific and Practical. In Y. Blount and M. Gloet (Eds.) Anywhere Working and the New Era of Telecommuting, (pp. 47-88). IGI Global.
- Hosseini, M. R., Chileshe, N., Baroudi, B., Izadpanahi, P., & Zuo, J. (2017). Virtuality of hybrid design teams within the construction context: a conceptual model. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 9(1), 1-17.
- Arling, P. A., Miech, E. J., & Arling, G. W. (2017). Improving Quality Improvement Collaboratives: Mixing Communication Media to Attain Multiple Measures of Success. In A. Moumtzoglou (Eds.) Design, Development, and Integration of Reliable Electronic Healthcare Platforms (pp. 243-254). IGI Global.
- Orhan, M. A., Altili, E. (2017). When tasks get virtual: How task virtuality affects work behavior and innovative capabilities. Journal of Management and Innovation, 3(2), 1-26.
- Großer, B., Baumöl, U. (2017). Why virtual teams work–State of the art. Procedia Computer Science, 121(2017), 297-305.
The motivation for this study was to investigate how workplace fairness can have an impact on shared service employees’ job satisfaction, organizational commitment, identification and turnover intention. Even though we read plenty of studies in organizational matters, none was specifically addressed the behavioral issues encountered by the employees of global shared service centers (SSC).
As a practical and excellent strategy for workforce utilization, global shared service organizations could promote the benefits of cultural diversity by distributing and allocating resources fairly. The fundamental objective of this research is to present a roadmap to assist SSC executives grasp how to improve and maintain employees’ job satisfaction and encourage them to stay in their career. This would minimize one of the well-known, hardest challenges of SSCs: high employee turnover ratios, which are wasteful to the organization’s valuable human resources.
Keywords: Shared service centers, turnover, satisfaction, fairness, commitment, identification