Date Approved

4-4-2013

Date Posted

5-9-2013

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Technology

Committee Member

Dr. John Dugger III

Committee Member

Dr. Dan Fields

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Chapman

Committee Member

Dr. Ramona Meraz Lewis

Abstract

The increasing use of virtual teams as a result of advances in technology has altered the manner in which team members communicate and interact (Holton, 2001). The media-rich faceto- face team environment has frequently given way to asynchronous communication, using tools such as emails and discussion threads (Ohler, 2004). This study focused on the role of personality type in the emerging academic asynchronous environment; specifically, it explored the relationship between the Jungian dimension of energization (introversion vs. extroversion) of a team member and the perceived level of contribution of that team member to a team in an academic asynchronous virtual environment.

The sample for this study included 144 university students who were participating in several courses that required virtual team activities. Respondents completed both an online personality survey similar to that of a Myer Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), as well as an online teammate contribution questionnaire based on McGrath’s (1964) measures of team efficiency.

The null hypothesis that no relationship exists between energization source and perceived virtual team contribution was tested. Nine of the 14 questions that addressed individual contribution to the team were correlated with energization at the ³ 95% confidence (£ 0.05 significance) level. When the individual rating items were grouped consistent with the McGrath (1964) team contribution model, a £ 0.05 significance level correlation was found with two of the three groupings.

The null hypothesis was thus rejected, and it was concluded that at the university level, there was a significant relationship between Jung’s energization dimension of personality scale and perceived contribution to a virtual team. It was also concluded that at the university level, a relationship between an individual’s levels of introversion vs. extroversion likely impacts the vi manner in which a team member communicates and contributes in a virtual team environment. This conclusion suggested that future virtual team leaders and team members should be aware of, and give consideration to, the levels of introversion vs. extroversion of their teammates because this is an aspect of personality that may influence how team members communicate most effectively.

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