Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 995–1020 | Cite as

Team Decision Making in Virtual and Face-to-Face Environments

  • Thomas A. O’Neill
  • Samantha E. Hancock
  • Katarina Zivkov
  • Nicole L. Larson
  • Stephanie J. Law


We conducted a laboratory study on 65 teams performing a decision-making task. The two experimental manipulations involved the use of different communication media and decision frames. The decision frame manipulation involved informing the team to choose the demonstrably correct solution versus the solution that seemed most likely. These factors interacted to reveal novel insights about their multiplicative effects on decision processes and team psychological states. Further, main effects of the communication medium were found for team psychological states and decision behavior. Results suggest that virtual teams were at a disadvantage when the task was framed as having a demonstrably correct solution. Conversely, face-to-face teams were more effective, particularly when told that the task had a demonstrably correct solution. Face-to-face teams were more effective on all decision behaviors. Media synchronicity theory serves as a unifying framework to contextualize this research in the literature.


Teams Decision-making Team psychological states   Decision processes Decision behavior Hidden-profile 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. O’Neill
    • 1
  • Samantha E. Hancock
    • 2
  • Katarina Zivkov
    • 1
  • Nicole L. Larson
    • 1
  • Stephanie J. Law
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

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