The influence of virtuality on social networks within and across work groups: A multilevel approach

Ayoung Suh, Kyung Shik Shin, Manju Ahuja, Min Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine how the virtuality of work context influences individuals' social networks within and across work groups. Given this purpose, we develop a multilevel research framework that explores the effects of different levels of virtuality on one's intra-group tie strength and extra-group network range based on the computer-mediated communication theory, the proximity theory, and the social network theory. The results of the hierarchical linear modeling indicate that the individual-level virtuality (use of personal and communal communication technologies) significantly influences one's intra-group tie strength and extra-group network range. Moreover, the results show that the effects of individual-level virtuality on social networks vary depending on the group-level virtuality, such as geographic/temporal dispersion and technological support. By illuminating how individuals' social networks can be developed through the appropriate use of personal and communal communication technologies in the context of a virtual group, this study provides useful insights into the mechanics that underlie effective virtual work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-386
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Management Information Systems
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Computer-mediated communication
  • hierarchical linear modeling
  • multilevel analysis
  • social networks
  • virtuality

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