Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 27 Number 4 2011 pp. 299-334

Individual Virtual Competence and Its Influence on Work Outcomes

Wang, Yinglei and Haggerty, Nicole

ABSTRACT: Witnessing both opportunities and challenges in virtual work arrangements, researchers have explored a number of technological, social, and organizational factors in order to improve virtual work effectiveness. However, there is limited understanding of an important element of virtual work—the individuals. Our review of the literature indicates that the composition of individual knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required to work virtually would benefit from further research. In this study, we theoretically and empirically develop the construct of individual virtual competence that captures the key KSAs required to perform effectively in today’s virtualized workplace, within a parsimonious nomological network. Substantiated by its explanatory power on individual perceived performance and satisfaction, individual virtual competence contributes to the literature by acknowledging a distinct workplace competency that can be incorporated in future individual-level studies of virtual phenomena. This research provides managers with a lens to understand differences in individual work outcomes and provides a lever to developing individuals’ capabilities so as to improve work outcomes.

Key words and phrases: individual virtual competence, individual work outcomes, virtual organization, virtual work