Partially distributed teams (PDTs) are common as organizations collaborate across distances. A PDT has at least one collocated subteam and at least two geographically dispersed subteams. We describe a large-scale experiment that examines student global PDTs working on software requirements for an emergency MIS; the teams comprised one U.S. subteam and one Dutch subteam. Leadership configuration was varied so that some teams had only a team leader; some had only subteam leaders; and some had both. However most teams chose to select subteam leaders, regardless of instructions. Trust has been found to be important for team functioning in traditional and virtual teams. This paper focuses on the experimental results related to leadership and trust in PDTs. Results indicate that while there is no evidence that trust varies by leadership configuration, the type of leader (subteam/team) matters and that trust is associated with leader effectiveness and perceptions of team and subteam performance.
Plotnick, Linda; Hiltz, Starr Roxanne; Ocker, Rosalie; Rutkowski, A. F.; and Rosson, Mary Beth, "Leadership and Trust in Partially Distributed Software Development Teams" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 292.