Dissertations On Virtual Teams

Successful virtual teams: Collaboration and influence as drivers of team success

Carole D Robinson, University of Pennsylvania


The goal of this exploratory qualitative dissertation study was to broaden researcher understanding of virtual teams in organizations and the perceived similarities and differences between the factors that contribute to virtual team and face-to-face team success. A second goal of this study was to explore member perceptions about the factors and behaviors that positively or negatively impact virtual team effectiveness. This study included twenty-four research participants currently working in virtual teams representing five industries and representing fourteen organizations. Through a series of qualitative interviews, the study identified three virtual team success factors: collaboration, communication technology, and communication. ^ The majority of research participants revealed that many factors that contribute to virtual team and face-to-face team success are similar, with the primary difference being impact to the team if the three identified factors (collaboration, communication technology, and communication) are not present. Factors that contribute to virtual team success that have less impact in face-to-face teams include collaboration, communication technology, and communication. Additionally, this study found that virtual team members engage in sidebar interactions as an adopted behavior to mimic the water cooler effect that occurs in face-to-face teaming environments. Sidebar is a form of informal communication, one-on-one dialogue between two virtual team members conducted pre-meeting either to collaborate on projects or to engage in an influence discussion. Further, this study found that influence in virtual teams is multi-dimensional and of mixed strength - including a combination of soft, rational-based and hard influence tactics.^

Subject Area

Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Robinson, Carole D, "Successful virtual teams: Collaboration and influence as drivers of team success" (2015). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3704101.


Since July 24, 2015


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