How Geographic and Social Distance Affect Perceptions of Teams and Their Members

33 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2017

See all articles by Jeanne M. Wilson

Jeanne M. Wilson

College of William and Mary - Mason School of Business

C. Brad Crisp

Abilene Christian University

Mark Mortensen

INSEAD - Organisational Behaviour

Date Written: August 3, 2017

Abstract

Building on construal level theory, this paper explores the effects of two different forms of distance on perceptions of distributed group members. In an experimental study, we find that perceptions of geographically and socially distant collaborators are more homogenous both within and across members. That is, individuals perceive less differentiation between the personality characteristics of each distant collaborator and less differentiation across a set of distant collaborators as well. In addition, geographic and social distance caused participants to view the team itself in more abstract terms. Beyond providing some of the first empirical support for extending construal level theory to distributed groups, this research examines the interactive effects of geographic and social distance. The results also have important practical implications for managing performance and managing impressions at a distance.

Keywords: Distributed Groups, Virtual Teams, Construal Level Theory

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Jeanne M. and Crisp, C. Brad and Mortensen, Mark, How Geographic and Social Distance Affect Perceptions of Teams and Their Members (August 3, 2017). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2017/48/OBH. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013096 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3013096

Jeanne M. Wilson

College of William and Mary - Mason School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

C. Brad Crisp

Abilene Christian University ( email )

Abilene, TX 79699
United States

Mark Mortensen (Contact Author)

INSEAD - Organisational Behaviour ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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