Cohesion and Performance in Global Virtual Teams: The Moderating Role of Technical Skills
Celik, Duysal Askun
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Despite increasing recognition of the issues posed by virtual and culturally-diverse teamwork in global teams, little is known about the impact of cohesion on team performance when face-to-face contact is not possible. This study examines the perceptions of members of 463 global virtual teams composed of 1989 university students, with respect to team cohesion and team performance. The study assesses the extent to which team cohesion affect team performance and whether the size of such effect depends on team members' technical skills. To achieve this goal, hierarchical multiple regression analyses are conducted. The results clearly indicate that the interaction between team cohesion and team members' technical skill explain additional variance in team performance scores over and above the main effects of team cohesion and team members' technical skill alone. Specifically, team cohesion is positively and significantly related to team performance when team members' skills are high, but is not significantly related to team performance when team members' skills are low. Based on the empirical results, the influence of cohesion on team performance should be predicated on the team type and characteristics. This study suggests the existence of boundary conditions to the cohesion-performance relationship and proposes the use of the expeditious coherence term for global virtual teams. Given the growing usage of global virtual teams in the business world, this study concludes that cohesion develops differently and have asymmetrical effects on performance, according to distinct team features.