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Activating and Perpetuating Virtual Teams: Now That We're Mobile, Where Do We Go?

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2 Author(s)
Richard Baskerville ; Robinson Coll. of Bus., Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA ; Joe Nandhakumar

Based on an interpretive case study in a large petrochemical company, this paper provides evidence for a theoretical framework based on the relationship of abstract and personal trust to the effectiveness of long-term virtual teams. This theory of virtual teams states that, when all other enabling factors for trust and effective virtual team working are conducive, then four elements exist: first, personal trust is most effectively established or reinvigorated through geographically collocated social interaction; second, personal trust is an antecedent to the activation and operation of effective virtual teams; third, abstract trust is an alternative to personal trust as an antecedent to the activation and operation of effective, short-term virtual teams; and finally, personal trust gradually dissipates over time without collocated social interaction. This theory leads to four propositions about the role of ubiquitous computing for virtual teams. These propositions draw from the mobility brought by ubiquitous computing to potential and active virtual teams. The mobility can be used to collocate (perhaps rhythmically or routinely) team members for the purpose of enabling or sustaining perpetual virtual teams

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 1 )