The Role of Group Membership Perception and Team Identity in a Virtual Team's Use of Influence Tactics

31 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2004


Numerous articles can be found in the management journals on the area of power and influence, both from the theoretical and empirical approaches. There is also a growing body of literature in the management publications on the subject of virtual teams and organizations. However, there is limited empirical research on virtual teams, and particularly lacking are studies concerning team identity and perceptions of group membership. Shapiro et al. (2002) proposed that factors characteristic of transnational teams put those teams at risk for low team identity which in turn leads to effort-withholding behaviors. Given the commonalities between virtual and transnational teams, this study seeks to validate some of the propositions of Shapiro and colleagues as they apply to virtual teams and their members. In addition, there are also few empirical studies with regard to the communication processes within virtual organization settings (DeSanctis & Monge, 1999). Therefore, the study also investigates the effects of team identification on a virtual team member's use of influence tactics in their team. The model proposes that a team member's level of team identification mediates the effects of team and team member characteristics on a team member's use of influence tactics.

Keywords: Virtual teams, team identity, communication

JEL Classification: D74

Suggested Citation

Ferguson, Merideth J., The Role of Group Membership Perception and Team Identity in a Virtual Team's Use of Influence Tactics. Available at SSRN: or

Merideth J. Ferguson (Contact Author)

Baylor University ( email )

PO Box 98006
Waco, TX 76798-8006
United States

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