Distancing ourselves from geographic dispersion: An examination of perceived virtuality in teams

Matt I. Brown, Matthew S. Prewett, Michael A. Grossenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Our goal in the present study is to challenge prior assumptions about virtual teamwork by examining the emergence of perceived team virtuality and observing how it relates to teamwork processes and behaviors within project teams across 2 studies. Individualand team-level data were collected from one sample of 94 collocated project teams (Study 1) and a second sample of 68 teams (30 collocated and 38 dispersed teams; Study 2). Members completed our perceived team virtuality scales along with measures of teamwork processes and emergent states. Additional peer-rated behavioral measures and objective dispersion measures were obtained in Study 2. Perceived virtuality was positively related to effective teamwork processes in teams, regardless of dispersion. These effects also largely overshadowed the negative effects of geographic dispersion in Study 2 (ΔR2 >.25). We also observed modest within-team agreement (rwg >.80) for each virtuality dimension in both studies, suggesting that common experiences lead to emergent, shared perceptions of virtuality within teams. We recommend that perceptual measures of virtuality can be a useful for understanding how individuals and teams utilize technology in order to perform effectively. Moreover, perceived virtuality measure is more flexible to changing trends and adoption of new tools than objective methods and can be used in a variety of lab or field settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-185
Number of pages18
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Emergent states
  • Teamwork processes
  • Technology
  • Telework
  • Virtual teams


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