Interpersonal Communication in Virtual Teams : A Qualitative Research Exploring the Influence Interpersonal Communication has on the Trust and Motivation in Virtual Teams
Sammanfattning: Today’s globalized world and the internationalization of many companies have put pressure on companies to change their communication patterns, both external and internal. The way of operating has also changed. The technological advancements made during the past decades have allowed employees to have almost unlimited possibilities to communicate with each other, no matter the distance. This has led to a new phenomenon, Virtual Teams. Working virtually has become more common in recent time, while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies and teams to adapt to a virtual environment. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the influence Interpersonal Communication has on the employees’ trust and motivation in Virtual Teams. The research was of a qualitative nature and the collection of primary data was made through semi-structured in-depth interviews with mainly open-ended questions. The participants consisted of five (5) employees and one (1) manager from the same virtual team, with the members located across the globe. The findings showed that Interpersonal Communication has a positive influence on the employees’ motivation and trust, mostly through the establishment of Interpersonal Relations, Sense of Belonging and Level of Involvement. Many of the findings are supported by previous literature and research. The authors argue that the level of influence interpersonal communication has is dependent on the experience and seniority of the members, as well as it having the strongest influence in the beginning of a team. The thesis has contributed to previous and current literature and research, while having implications for future research, managers and virtual teams.
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