Previous research provided valuable overview of virtual team research, but not specifically analyzed the theoretical foundations. This paper provides a checklist for researchers to appropriate theories based on a thorough analysis from different perspectives relevant to the unique needs of virtual team research.
- Share common purpose
- Geographically dispersed
Descriptive analysis of theories in virtual team research
- Frequency of theory use
- 45 articles with 25 theories used 58 times
- The number and percentage of articles with theoretical foundations increase
Seven elements of the framework
- Match goals of researchers with the theories
- MST: prescriptive theory; live online help: not fully defined or explained
- Fit or empirical fidelity between the phenomenon and constructs of theory
- Interested important phenomenon
- MST: good fit in empirical fidelity; unclear if it’s correct strategic choice
- Based on cumulative tradition
- MST: well-developed theoretical foundation (MRT & TIP theory)
- Different criteria to evaluate the quality
- MST: high: testability, falsifiability, scope, heuristic value
medium: parsimony, explanatory power, cumulative nature
remains unknown: predictive power and degree of formal development
- static invariant constructs or collection of temporal constructs, level of analysis
- MST: variant theory, and individual level
- Two major perspectives: systems rationalization & segmented institutionalism
- MST: rational perspective: task and orientation is clear, also interactionist
- IT artifact
- Avoid duplication, identify boundary, and increase relevance and impact
- MST: text chat and cobrowsing window
Clear and detailed guidelines for us to better evaluate theories, not only just theories used in context of virtual team.
One of the virtual team feature is geographical dispersed. But this is not necessary given the specific definition of dispersion.
Why does not take Adaptive Structuration Theory as the example, which is the most frequent applied in all virtual team literature?