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SHRM Foundation Research

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Free-Riding in Global Virtual Teams: An Experimental Study of Antecedents and Strategies to Minimize the Problem

Funded: June 2014     Expected Completion: July 2016
Vas Taras, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tom O'Neill, Ph.D., University of Calgary, Piers Steel, Ph.D., University of Calgary, and William Tullar, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Free-riding is a major problem in workgroups, particularly in global virtual teams (GVTs). This study will explore mechanisms by which free-riding affects group dynamics and performance in GVTs, and experimentally test several commonly available strategies to alleviate the problem. The study will be conducted using a unique platform of the X-Culture project, an international business competition that attracts over 3,000 MBA and undergraduate students and working professionals from over 40 countries semi-annually who work in about 500 GVTs on real business challenges presented by international companies. The work design, collaboration principles, and compensation closely resemble those in the workplace. Multi-source, multi-level, longitudinal data will be used in this study.

View the full list of SHRM Foundation funded research.
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