Systèmes d'Information et Management


This paper puts forth a conceptual model describing how mutual awareness is built and maintained within virtual teams. The research model created here was tested in the observa¬tions of 60 virtual teams composed of university students across France. Our results serve to confirm the bi-dimensional structure of mutual awareness (task-oriented versus relationship¬oriented). Our work has equally brought to light the positive combined effects of trust and co¬hesion on mutual awareness levels. The creation of mutual awareness in virtual teams is based on a dual process (task-oriented versus relationship-oriented). This dual process of mu¬tual awareness building evolves alongside that of collaborative development, according to the development phases of the teams observed. Finally, our results show the superiority of the task¬oriented process over the relationship-oriented one during the lifespan of the virtual team.