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The benefits of coordination in (over)adaptive virtual teams

Dar\'io Blanco-Fern\'andez, Stephan Leitner and Alexandra Rausch

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: The emergence of new organizational forms--such as virtual teams--has brought forward some challenges for teams. One of the most relevant challenges is coordinating the decisions of team members who work from different time zones. Intuition suggests that task performance should improve if the team members' decisions are coordinated. However, previous research suggests that the effect of coordination on task performance is ambiguous. Specifically, the effect of coordination on task performance depends on aspects such as the team members' learning and the changes in team composition over time. This paper aims to understand how individual learning and team composition moderate the relationship between coordination and task performance. We implement an agent-based modeling approach based on the NK-framework to fulfill our research objective. Our results suggest that both factors have moderating effects. Specifically, we find that excessively increasing individual learning is harmful for the task performance of fully autonomous teams, but less detrimental for teams that coordinate their decisions. In addition, we find that teams that coordinate their decisions benefit from changing their composition in the short-term, but fully autonomous teams do not. In conclusion, teams that coordinate their decisions benefit more from individual learning and dynamic composition than teams that do not coordinate. Nevertheless, we should note that the existence of moderating effects does not imply that coordination improves task performance. Whether coordination improves task performance depends on the interdependencies between the team members' decisions.

Date: 2022-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm
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