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Telecommuting: a test of trust, competing values, and relative advantage

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2 Author(s)
S. J. Harrington ; Georgia Coll. & State Univ., Milledgeville, GA, USA ; C. P. Ruppel

The advent of technologies that enable virtual work arrangements brings with it a challenge to managers: do they trust their employees to work outside of their presence? A perceived loss of control and a sense of being taken advantage of, may be experienced by a manager as employees disappear from the manager's daily gaze. To enable the transition of employees to virtual work arrangements, managers who work in bureaucratic organizations that value a high degree of control and stability may need to change their management style to accommodate new methods of employee communication and interaction. Alternately, corporate cultures well suited for the transition value results and are characterized as having the atmosphere of trust (a shared emotional understanding about who is to be trustee based on compatible values and open communications/attitudes). Telecommuting, as one form of virtual work arrangement, provides a prime opportunity to look into the management attitudes and corporate cultures that may hinder the transition of workers into remote settings. The study of telecommuting among information technology (IT) professionals suggests that management trust of employees, the ability to secure the technology involved, a rational culture, and a group culture, which emphasizes human resources and member participation, facilitate telecommuting implementation. Thus the study offers strong support for the important role of trust, security, and culture in the implementation of virtual work arrangements

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 4 )