When Does Virtuality Really “Work”? Examining the Role of Work–Family and Virtuality in Social Loafing

  • Perry S
  • Lorinkova N
  • Hunter E
 et al. 
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Abstract

We sought to clarify the relationship between virtuality and social loafing by exploring two work–family moderators—family responsibility and dissimilarity in terms of family responsibility— and two mediators—cohesion and psychological obligation—in two studies. We expected that " busy teams " (i.e., comprising similar individuals with many family responsibilities) would exhibit the strongest positive virtuality–social loafing relationship, and teams comprising simi-lar individuals with few family responsibilities would experience a weaker virtuality–social loafing relationship. We expected that individuals working with dissimilar others would report consistently high levels of social loafing regardless of virtuality. Furthermore, we expected cohesion and psychological obligation to one's teammates would mediate these effects. Similar individuals in teams indeed exhibited different virtuality–social loafing relationships in both 475814JOMXXX10.1177/0149206313475814JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT / MONTH XXXXPerry et al. / Family, Virtuality, and Loafing 2013 Acknowledgments: We dedicate this work to our dear friend and coauthor, Tim McMahon, who lost his battle to cancer during the publication process of the manuscript. Tim was part of the pioneering generation who set the mark for all management academicians to follow. His enthusiasm, engagement, intellectual curiosity, insights, mentorship, and humor were integral in completing this research. He will be missed by many colleagues and stu-dents. We would also like to thank Dr. Erin Makarius for reviewing an earlier version of this article and Drs. Alan Witt and Derek Avery for providing valuable input in the research design.

Author-supplied keywords

  • cohesion
  • dissimilarity
  • family responsibility
  • obligation
  • social loafing
  • virtual teams
  • work–family

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Authors

  • Sara Jansen Perry

  • Natalia M. Lorinkova

  • Emily M. Hunter

  • Abigail Hubbard

  • J. Timothy McMahon

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