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The impact of peer evaluation on team effort, productivity, motivation and performance in global virtual teams

Ernesto Tavoletti (University of Macerata, Macerata, Italy)
Robert D. Stephens (Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA)
Longzhu Dong (University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 2 September 2019

Issue publication date: 11 September 2019




This study aims to assess the effect of peer evaluations on team-level effort, productivity, motivation and overall team performance.


This study explores the impact of a peer evaluation system on 895 multicultural and transnational global virtual teams (GVTs) composed of 5,852 university students from 130 different countries. The study uses a quasi-experiment in which the group project is implemented under two conditions over two sequential iterations. In the first condition, team members do not receive peer evaluation feedback during the project. In the second condition, participants completed detailed peer evaluations of their team members and received feedback weekly for eight consecutive weeks.


Results suggest that when peer evaluations are used in GVTs during the project, teams show: higher levels of group effort; lower levels of average productivity and motivation; and no clear evidence of improved team performance. Results cast doubts on the benefits of peer evaluation within GVTs as the practice fails to reach its main objective of improving team performance and generates some negative internal dynamics.

Practical implications

The major implication of the study for managers and educators using GVTs is that the use of peer evaluations during the course of a project does not appear to improve objective team performance and reduces team motivation and perception of productivity despite increases in teams’ perceptions of effort and performance.


This study contributes to the scanty literature regarding the impact of peer evaluation systems on group-level dynamics and performance outcomes.



Tavoletti, E., Stephens, R.D. and Dong, L. (2019), "The impact of peer evaluation on team effort, productivity, motivation and performance in global virtual teams", Team Performance Management, Vol. 25 No. 5/6, pp. 334-347.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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