Virtual Competence: A New Perspective on Individual Knowledge, Skills and Abilities in Virtual Organizations

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Yinglei Wang, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario, Nicole Haggerty, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario


Organizing and accomplishing virtual work presents both opportunities and challenges. Our review of the literature indicates that an important element of the virtual organization phenomenon - individual knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to work virtually (Powell, Picoli and Ives, 2004), has not been well studies. Based on Bandura┬┤s (1986) social cognitive theory, we theorize that a better understanding of individuals┬┤ KSAs is a potential avenue for managing the complexity of distributed contexts. In this study, we empirically develop the construct of individual virtual competence within a nomological network to shed light on how individuals develop capacities in daily activities to help them perform in virtual settings. Our current theorization suggests that virtual competence is a critical capability of an individual to work effectively in virtual organizations. We are currently collecting data. Therefore, this research-in-progress presents theory development and hypotheses, along with an outline of our data collection activities. Results of our empirical analysis and our conclusions will be presented at the conference.


Virtual organization, computer mediated communication, virtual competence, self-efficacy



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