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Virtual teams: team control structure, work processes, and team effectiveness

Gabriele Piccoli (School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)
Anne Powell (School of Business, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois, USA)
Blake Ives (Information Systems Research Center, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



Seeks to determine the impact managerial controls have on the effectiveness of virtual teams. Using an experimental design compares self‐directed virtual teams to counterparts where behavior controls are used as a method of managerial control. The data were collected using 51 student teams of three or four members each from three different countries. The results indicate that the most satisfied team members were in virtual teams with effective coordination and communication. Members of self‐directed virtual teams report higher individual satisfaction with the team and project, while different control structures had no significant impact on virtual team performance. Future research should investigate how these findings generalize to organizational workers, rather than just looking at students. This paper is just a first step investigating one type of managerial control: behavior controls. The small amount of research that has been published on virtual teams has primarily concentrated on self‐directed teams. This paper compares results of team effectiveness by looking at both self‐directed virtual teams and virtual teams with behavioral controls enforced.



Piccoli, G., Powell, A. and Ives, B. (2004), "Virtual teams: team control structure, work processes, and team effectiveness", Information Technology & People, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 359-379.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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