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Dynamic Nature of Trust in Virtual Teams

Author(s): Prasert Kanawattanachai | Youngjin Yoo

Journal: Sprouts : Working Papers on Information Systems
ISSN 1535-6078

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 42;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Trust | Virtual Team | Computer-Mediated Communication

Building on the theory of swift trust, we empirically examine the dynamic nature of trust and its changing patterns in both cognitive and affective elements between high- and low-performing teams over time (early, middle, and late stages of project). Using data from 38, four-person student teams from six universities competing in a web-based business simulation game over eight-week periods, we found that both high- and low-performing teams started with similar levels of trust in both cognitive and affective dimensions. However, high-performing teams were better at developing and maintaining the trust level throughout the project life. Moreover, virtual teams relied more on a cognitive than an affective element of trust. These findings provide a preliminary step toward understanding the dynamic nature and relative importance of cognition- and affect-based trust over time.
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