A meta-analytic investigation of virtuality and information sharing in teams

Jessica R. Mesmer-Magnus*, Leslie A. DeChurch, Miliani Jimenez-Rodriguez, Jessica Wildman, Marissa Shuffler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

We uncover new insights on the role of virtuality on team information sharing. A new two-dimensional conceptualization of information sharing (Mesmer-Magnus & DeChurch, 2009) enabled us to reconcile past inconsistencies in the virtual team literature. Recasting the findings of 94 studies (total number of groups = 5596; total N approximately = 19,702) into this framework reveals three key insights. First, virtuality improves the sharing of unique information, but hinders the openness of information sharing. Second, unique information sharing is more important to the performance of face-to-face teams than is open information sharing, whereas open information sharing is more important to the performance of virtual teams than is unique information sharing. Third, the effects of virtuality on information sharing are more curvilinear than linear - such that low levels of virtuality improve information sharing, but high levels hider it. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-225
Number of pages12
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume115
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Group
  • Information sharing
  • Team
  • Virtual
  • Virtuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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