Virtual Communities and Collaborations


This study examines how relational instability and stability-seeking behaviors of unstable virtual teams affects teamperformance. We apply Structural Stability Theory (Heider, 1946) to understand virtual team (VT) performance. Structuralstability theory provides for quantification of relational stability within a VT by measuring the mathematical properties oflinks between nodes in a team. Lack of stability is a source of unresolved tension. Structural Stability Theory (SST) statesthat unstable relationships are motivated to seek stability. Stability can be positive or negative, where certain members of agroup are disliked by others. However, structural stability suggests the absence of turbulence within the relational dynamicsof the group; that relationships are settled - good or bad. We propose that the degree of structural stability within a groupmeasures unresolved relational tension within the group and may impact VT performance.