Interpersonal relationships in transnational, virtual teams – towards a configurational perspective

2011-03-03T09:37:24Z (GMT) by Angelika Zimmermann
Previous research has observed that strong interpersonal relationships are especially important for the functioning of transnational, virtual teams (TNTs), but are at the same time particularly hard to achieve in these teams. This article reviews and integrates the transnational and virtual team literature to provide an overview of examined cognitive, behavioural and affective relationship aspects. By demonstrating the interrelations between these relationship aspects, the article deviates from the prevalent, linear input–process–output models of team functioning and makes a first step towards a configurational perspective on relationships in TNTs. It further reviews how several characteristics of the team structure, organizational context and socio-political environment may facilitate or inhibit relationship aspects. Through a synthesis of previous research, the article develops two examples of likely relationship configurations and their driving factors. The review concludes by recommending methods for future empirical research on relationship configurations in TNTs.