An Exploration of the Moderating Effect of Work Motivation on the Relationship between Utilization of Virtual Team Effectiveness Attributes and Work Satisfaction: A Mixed Methods Study
Day, Frederick Carl
Burbach, Mark Edward
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A unique challenge for organizations is in leading diverse, dispersed teams whose members are motivated to work independently, but are willing to collaborate. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how nuanced variations in motivational patterns influences the relationship between work satisfaction and virtual team effectiveness. A sequential, mixed methods design was used to analyze and explain the moderating effects of motivational orientation on this relationship. In the first, quantitative phase, participating virtual team members completed an online survey with items comprising the five motivation source scales from the Motivation Sources Inventory, work satisfaction, and eleven variables measuring utilization of virtual team effectiveness attributes from the Virtual Teams Survey. Seven hypotheses were tested, with support found for three of the hypotheses. Work satisfaction and utilization of the virtual team effectiveness attributes were found to be positively correlated. Support was also found for hypotheses that the relationship between work satisfaction and utilization of the virtual team effectiveness attributes will be stronger for virtual team members (VTMs) with low self-concept external and / or moderate or high goal internalization patterns. In the second, qualitative phase, follow-up interviews were conducted to support and provide rationale for the quantitative results. Qualitative analysis of interviews revealed three major themes focused on concerns regarding team leadership, organizational support, and technology. Viewed in context with the quantitative results, the themes suggest that work satisfaction may be improved for most VTMs, regardless of motivation pattern, by str igning rewards with goals, and enhancing the technology used for team communication.