Contextualising collective efficacy in virtual team research: The essential role of collaborative technologies in the virtual team efficacy conceptual framework

Andrew Hardin, Robert M. Davison, Christoph Schneider, Clayton A. Looney, Suprateek Sarker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


One factor receiving contemporary interest from virtual team researchers is collective-level efficacy, that is, a team's shared belief in its collective abilities to work effectively. However, our understanding of this literature leads to two concerns. First, depending on traditional team-focused collective-level efficacy concepts conveys an indifferent view of technology that ignores decades of research explaining how virtual teams' reliance on collaborative technologies differentiates them from traditional teams. Second, the information systems literature has largely ignored the concept of collective-level efficacy in virtual team research. That collective-level efficacy is underexamined in IS research is disappointing, given the growing recognition (outside the IS literature) that it is crucial to virtual team success. This absence becomes even more concerning given that IS researchers developed the concept of virtual team efficacy (VTE) specifically for virtual team settings. Unlike collective-level efficacy measures designed for traditional team settings, VTE incorporates technology into its conceptual definition and the operationalization of its measurement indicators. Thus, it is a stronger predictor of virtual team outcomes. To demonstrate its importance to IS research, we used a deductive theory-driven approach to propose and empirically evaluate whether VTE indirectly acts on virtual team effectiveness through the critical concepts of trust and participants' perceptions of problems associated with the collaboration inhibitors of time difference, geographical separation, and cultural differences. This research contributes significantly to the literature by confirming VTE's relationship to important virtual team success factors and informing IS researchers about the appropriate choice of constructs when studying collective-level efficacy in virtual team settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-498
Number of pages30
JournalInformation Systems Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • collective efficacy
  • culture
  • geographically dispersed teams
  • trust
  • virtual team efficacy
  • virtual teams


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