Work Stressors Related to Geographic Distance and Electronic Dependence in Virtual Teams

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing globalisation and advances in communication technology have fuelled the emergence of geographically distributed so-called virtual teams. Literature identifies multiple contextual boundaries of virtual teams, e.g. geographic distance, time separation and dependence on electronic communication. Despite the increasing attention to virtual teams, there is limited understanding of how these challenges, presented as virtual team boundaries, contribute to team members' psychological strain. This comparative multi-case study aims at identifying the context-specific work stressors in eight geographically distributed virtual teams. A qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 81 virtual team members revealed the context-specific work stressors: work overload, low accessibility to information, low awareness of local conditions and coordination problems, caused by geographic dispersion. This study contributes to the literature on virtual teams and stress proposing that globally and nationally distributed team members experience unique job demands that may make coping difficult, thereby causing psychological strain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-329
JournalInternational Journal of Business and Systems Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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