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Does size matter? An investigation into the role of virtual team size in IT service provisioning

Hugo Martinelli Watanuki (Department of Production Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Renato de Oliveira Moraes (Department of Production Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 17 October 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential influence of virtual team size on team performance by examining group processes in the context of information technology (IT) service provisioning. This paper proposes a theoretical model of the relationships and presents an empirical study to verify the model.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilizing a survey questionnaire as the data collection instrument, this study focuses on IT service provisioning professionals who are actively engaged in virtual work contexts to test the relationships proposed by the theoretical model. A consistent version of the partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) approach is used to assess the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

Although the statistical analyses did not provide support for the hypothesized effects of team size on virtual team performance, the results provide novel insights that may help teams overcome the functioning challenges that they face, as reported in the previous literature on virtual team size. In addition, the results highlight the importance of specific group processes for obtaining superior team performance.

Originality/value

Currently, virtual teams are a reality in several organizations, especially in the IT service provisioning industry. However, despite its importance, the literature suggests that virtual team size has not yet been fully explored as a possible means of enhancing group collaboration in such contexts. This paper attempts to provide an empirical contribution to this field using the latest developments in PLS-SEM.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Guest Editor Professor Jorg Henseler and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and recommendations that helped enhance the quality of this paper.

Citation

Watanuki, H.M. and Moraes, R.d.O. (2016), "Does size matter? An investigation into the role of virtual team size in IT service provisioning", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 116 No. 9, pp. 1967-1986. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-07-2015-0300

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited