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Factors influencing virtual team performance in Malaysia

Chong King Tan (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Ramayah T. (School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia and Department of Management, Sunway University Business School (SUBS), Selangor, Malaysia)
Ai Ping Teoh (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Jun-Hwa Cheah (Department of Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Seri Kembangan, Malaysia)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 28 June 2019

Issue publication date: 23 September 2019



Virtual teams had become a fundamental way to conduct business for organizations to remain competitive and sustain in a global environment. Organizations which willing to understand what makes virtual teams more effective can likely accrue positive results from virtual teams. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to investigate what are the factors that impact the performance of virtual team. This study highlights factors that influence virtual team performance, which not been widely studied in developing countries (i.e. Malaysia). This study tests the impact of six factors (coordination, communication, relationship building, cohesion, trust and reward) on team performance.


A quantitative approach via self-administered questionnaire was adopted. A total of 205 questionnaires were successfully collected at the end of the data collection. Structural equation modelling using partial least squares approach (i.e. ADANCO 2.0 software) was then used to assess the relationships among variables in the virtual team.


After ensuring the data have acceptable reliability and validity, structural model assessment was performed to test the hypotheses. The results indicated that a significant and positive relationship exists between communication, relationship building, cohesion and trust towards team performance. On the other hand, no significant relationship was found between coordination and reward towards team performance.

Research limitations/implications

First, the study may be slightly biased due to the differences in the size of the multinational companies. The result might tend to represent the bigger companies where more virtual teams are available for sampling of this study. Second, the duration of virtual team (long-term and short-term) and the number of sites in the team should be clearly identified. The respondents might have very different experiences and perceptions in different settings of virtual team environment. Therefore, taking care of these characteristics would have provided a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of factors influencing virtual team performance in Malaysia.

Practical implications

The findings from this study can serve as guideline for managers to manage the virtual teams effectively, as well as to optimizes the resources usage and implement the most efficient tools of communication, and subsequently improve the overall efficiency of the teams. This study is useful for researchers, managers and organizations to highlight the factors that contribute to virtual team performance.


The present study has not only extended the use of Media Richness Theory in the context Virtual Team Performance in a developing country but also broadened the previous study through inclusion of other crucial factor, namely, Reward. Given the significant role in the Global marketplace, the understanding of factors influencing virtual team performance in Malaysia using the extended theory of Media Richness would contribute knowledge not only to technology management but also to manufacturing service industry.



Tan, C.K., T., R., Teoh, A.P. and Cheah, J.-H. (2019), "Factors influencing virtual team performance in Malaysia", Kybernetes, Vol. 48 No. 9, pp. 2065-2092.



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