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Unpacking Virtualism in Top Management Teams: Implications for Firm Performance

Track: Business Strategy

Keywords: Virtual Work, Top Management Teams, Upper Echelons Theory

Although Virtual Top Management Teams (VTMTs) have become commonplace in corporations today, researchers and practitioners alike are only beginning to understand the implications of having senior management teams work virtually and its influence on the firm’s performance. This study therefore investigates a multidimensional conceptualization of team virtualism, and does so using intact VTMTs during the on-going implementation of firm strategy. More specifically, as a means to begin unpacking the effect of having top managers work virtually, this research investigates the relationship between the shared strategic cognition found in VTMTs and firm performance, and if this relationship is moderated by the extent of team virtualism. Predictions are tested using a large sample of intact VTMTs. Results indicate the positive relationship between shared strategic cognition and firm performance to be contingent upon the team’s extent of virtualism across hypothesized dimensions of virtualism. Importantly, these findings suggest that shared strategic cognition may be a stronger predictor of firm performance for top management teams that are highly virtual than in teams which are less virtual. Through this investigation it is hoped future researchers are encouraged to think more critically about the conditions in which virtualism is most likely to influence organizational outcomes like performance.


Timothy Golden -
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


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