Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 35 Number 1 2018 pp. 266-318

Team Processes in Virtual Knowledge Teams: The Effects of Reputation Signals and Network Density

Havakhor, Taha and Sabherwal, Rajiv


Virtual knowledge teams (VKTs) depend on team processes that facilitate expertise coordination. VKTs use technology to map expertise, and thereby address the lack of familiarity among members. Despite the considerable interest in studying expertise coordination in teams, expertise coordination in VKTs is less understood. Moreover, technology’s role in expertise coordination in VKTs and the team processes, including expertise coordination, has received limited attention. This study argues and shows—through an online experiment—that technology enables VKTs by: connecting individuals through network ties; helping individuals to locate expertise, providing reputation signals; improving interpersonal processes through enhanced ties and signals; and enabling better performance through improved ties, signals, and processes. It contributes to theory by providing insights into how IT enhances expertise coordination and performance of VKTs. It contributes to practice by providing insights into the reputation signals that broadcast team members’ expertise and the effects of technology on team processes.

Key words and phrases: event sequence analysis, network ties, process research, reputation signals, team expertise, team performance, team processes, virtual knowledge teams, virtual teams