Straight from the horse’s mouth: Justifications and prevention strategies provided by free riders on global virtual teams

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Yonghong (Tracy) Liu, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Jason R. Pierce, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Vasyl Taras, Associate Professor (Creator)
William L. Tullar, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The study investigates the reasons for and ways to deal with free riding on Global Virtual Teams (GVTs) based on interviews with 77 documented “free-riders” themselves. Our unique sample, in contrast with more commonly-studied accounts from active team members or project managers, provides direct insights into the thinking of free-riders. Taken together, our interview data suggest that free riders (1) emerge in the early stages of team development, (2) due to several distinct reasons, of which lack of time, team coordination, and communication methods/channels are most common, (3) when confronted with unimpeachable evidence of their guilt, tend to attribute their failure to contribute to external forces, (4) often fall victim to subtle cultural differences and forces, and (5) could have been saved by prevention strategies that would target the different reasons for free-riding. From these conclusions, we synthesize and discuss implications for management education and training across national borders.

Additional Information

Journal of Management and Training for Industries, 5(3), 51-67. DOI: 10.12792/JMTI.5.3.51
Language: English
Date: 2018
free riding, global virtual teams, interview, team coordination, communication

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