Skip to Main Content
Firms that are trying to stay competitive in the current business environment often require the use of groups. The popularity of group work is tied to the promise of improved productivity via the pooling of information, knowledge, and skills. In recent years, group work has been expanded to virtual or distributed environments. However, there are questions about how aspects of group work-specifically group size and social presence-impact group members' ability to voice opinions. This study examines groups of two sizes in three distinct social presence settings: face-to-face, face-to-face using collaborative software, and virtual using collaborative software. This study finds that both group size and social presence affect individual instrumental voice, value-expressive voice, and the group interaction process. The results show that by increasing social presence through the use of collaborative software, it is possible to lessen the negative impact of increasing group size. These results should be of interest to the increasing number of organizations that are implementing virtual group environments.
Date of Publication: March 2006