Revisiting equity theory in the global virtual teams

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Vasyl Taras, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this study is to test whether equity theory (ET) – which posits that individuals compare their outcome/input ratio to the ratio of a “comparison other” and classify individuals as Benevolent, Equity Sensity, and Entitled – applies to the modern workplace of global virtual teams (GVT), where work is mostly intellectual, geographically dispersed and online, making individual effort nearly impossible to observe directly.Design/methodology/approach Using a sample of 1,343 GVTs comprised 6,347 individuals from 137 countries, this study tests three ET’s predictions in the GVT context: a negative, linear relationship between Benevolents’ perceptions of equity and job satisfaction in GVTs; an inverted U-shaped relationship between Equity Sensitives’ perceptions of equity and job satisfaction in GVTs; and a positive, linear relationship between Entitleds’ perceptions of equity and job satisfaction in GVTs.Findings Although the second prediction of ET is supported, the first and third have statistically significant opposite signs.Practical implications The research has important ramifications for management studies in explaining differences in organizational behavior in GVTs as opposed to traditional work settings.Originality/value The authors conclude that the main novelty with ET in GVTs is that GVTs are an environment stingy with satisfaction for “takers” (Entitleds) and generous in satisfaction for “givers” (Benevolents).

Additional Information

Management Research Review
Language: English
Date: 2023
equity theory, global virtual teams, x-culture, equality, satisfaction

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