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ERIC Number: ED565915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 212
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-2239-4
A Study of Power and Individualism in Virtual Teams: Trends, Challenges, and Solutions
Jablonski, Deirdre
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
This study investigated the relationship between cultural values and effectiveness of virtual team processes. In order to render an acceptable degree of comparison, four specific team outcomes of virtual team effectiveness were aligned on Hofstede's cultural dimensions of power distance and individualism. The lack of awareness of how power and individualism influences team outcomes has a potentially negative impact on multicultural virtual team effectiveness. Since many organizations lack the insight prepare employees to deal with cultural issues in a virtual environment, the results of this study could help organizations improve virtual team performance. The study was conducted using a comparative case study methodology in a global technology services corporation that made extensive use of virtual teams, working in an asynchronous environment across multiple cultural contexts. Focus was placed on teamwork execution and communication processes used to enact team agendas. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the effective characteristics that contributed to the success of multicultural virtual teams. Specifically, the research question addressed the following: how power distance and individualism affects virtual teams outcomes and how team members resolve cultural differences to achieve high levels of effectiveness. The research study consisted of fifteen open-ended interviews with individuals working in virtual teams. Based on the research, two themes emerged related to virtual team outcomes. In the first theme, harnessing diversity, the critical influences were communication, understanding of cultural and individual differences, and a shared mindset. The second theme, virtual relationship-building, identified the importance of accountability. Accountability provides the energy for the day-to-day activities within a virtual team, but trust is the larger concept and is the very core of all team interactions. Global organizations can use the results of this study as guidelines for developing trust and virtual team strategies to bridge the gap between theory and reality. Making virtual teams effective can have a positive social impact by increasing multicultural awareness in the virtual working environment to facilitate cultural and business globalization. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A