Gender-Based Communication Styles, Trust, and Satisfaction in Virtual Teams

Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations Volume 2, 2007

Kimberly Furumo
J. Michael Pearson

Previous studies have identified the difficulty of communicating in virtual teams. The lack of media richness, or opportunity for using non-verbal cues, leads to misunderstood communications and may limit the development of trust. Studies have also shown that males and females are socialized to communicate differently. Males use communication in teams to establish dominance and position while females use it to establish relationships and gain trust. In this study, we analyzed whether the gender of individual team members or the gender composition of the team impacted trust and satisfaction in short-duration virtual teams. Expectedly, females reported higher trust than males. However, team gender composition did not impact trust or satisfaction. The findings also indicate that males had less ability to dominate team interaction and that asynchronous computer mediated communication could equalize interactions among male and female team members.

Keywords: virtual teams, asynchronous computer mediated communication, gender, trust, satisfaction, female-homogeneous teams, male-homogeneous teams, gender-heterogeneous teams



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