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Trust and the unintended effects of behavior control in virtual teams

Piccoli, Gabriele and Ives, Blake (2003) Trust and the unintended effects of behavior control in virtual teams. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 27 (3), p. 365-395. eISSN 2162-9730. Article.

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Abstract

This article reports the findings of a longitudinal study of temporary virtual teams and explores the role of behavior control on trust decline. We conducted an experiment involving 51 temporary virtual teams. Half the teams were required to comply with behavior control mechanisms traditionally used in colocated teams. Their counterparts were allowed to self-direct. Our analysis shows that the behavior control mechanisms typically used in traditional teams have a significant negative effect on trust in virtual teams. In-depth analysis of the communication logs of selected teams reveals that trust decline in virtual teams is rooted in instances of reneging and incongruence. Behavior control mechanisms increase vigilance and make instances when individuals perceive team members to have failed to uphold their obligations (i.e., reneging and incongruence) salient. Heightened vigilance and salience increase the likelihood that team members’ failure to fulfill their obligations will be detected, thus contributing to trust decline.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:7207
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Virtual teams, trust, behavior control, control theory, psychological contract, teamwork
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-P/06 Economia applicata
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Economia, impresa, regolamentazione
Publisher:MIS Research Center
eISSN:2162-9730
Deposited On:12 Mar 2012 12:30

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