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A Review Of Related Literature On The Role Of Trust In Global Virtual Teams

1907 words - 8 pages

In this day and age, technology plays a big role in the everyday lives of people. Whether it be through the use of the cell phone or the computer, technology is vital for communication in work or in school. With various international organizations opening branches in different parts of the world, communication is key to the success of the company. Thus the birth of virtual teams. A virtual team is a group of people who communicate to other virtual teams across the world through the internet whether it be through Skype, email, etc. Virtual teams are “ a self -managed knowledge work team, with distributed expertise, that forms and disbands to address a specific organizational goal.” (Kristof et al. 1995, p. 230)

On the other hand, trust, which is a term commonly used for virtual teams is basically, based on, and described to be the reliance on someone to keep their word on the arrangements and responsibilities agreed upon (Piccoli & Ives, 2003). Often times, in completing a task, one may be asked to work with or for someone, and the trust between the parties involved plays an important role in the success or failure of completing that assigned task. It is no wonder, then, that trust is a significant factor and variable in determining the productivity and success of a virtual organization. Given that most transactions within the organization are made virtually, or with no face-to-face communication, trust may oftentimes be harder to come by. Trust in the virtual team setting is described as the confidence that a member, or members, of the team have in another or each other that allows them to work in line with all the responsibilities asked of him or her. When trust is present within the virtual team, members are able to confidently and transparently work through any deliberations, as well as be confident that each member will respect the other, and not “take excessive advantage” of another member when possible (Piccoli & Ives, 2003).

Trustworthiness is something that is present in each global virtual team member even before they have a chance to “interact” or work together through the web. It also greatly affects the trust that will be established between the members. In turn, this trust affects the “attitudes and performance” of the members (McKnight et al. 1998).

Once there is trust within the team, be it high or low, this then dictates the levels of communication. Communication is vital for the survival of any organizational but it is most important to global virtual teams. The members are only able to talk to one another when they are online and this is considerably hard to do and manage because it involves members from far and different locations. There are several external factors such as; power outage, time, sickness, etc. that could hinder the members from being able to meet up online but personal issues such as; family matters, refusal to cooperate, trust in co-workers, etc. could get in the way as well. However, later on in the...

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