Posted in July 2022

Enhancing Students’ Global Perspective-Taking to Improve Virtual Team Performance: A Swift Trust Theory Perspective

Article written by Michael A. Erskine, Sam Zaza, Rafael D. Araújo, Flávio E. A. Horita and Naomi Wahls and published in the Proceedings of the XVIII Brazilian Symposium on Information Systems, Curitiba, Brazil.


Context: Contemporary organizations rely on global virtual teams. This trend, exasperated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, aligns with ongoing globalization and digital transformation efforts. The information system (IS) scholarship has a strong interest in studying groups that develop digital technologies with a frequent focus on global virtual teams. Such teams, which frequently form ad hoc, require a swift formation of trust to be effective. Global-perspective taking overcomes intercultural trust barriers and presents an opportunity for more effective teams.

Problem: However, academic IS programs traditionally do not teach or assess concepts such as global-perspective in their students. Our study assesses whether university IS educators can impart global perspective-taking through online intercultural exchanges (OIEs).

Theoretical reference: We examine the effects of global perspective-taking (comprising cultural intelligence, global citizenship, and civic-mindedness) on the effectiveness of global virtual teams through the lens of swift trust theory.

Method: We conducted an exploratory study by creating OIEs in the context of web development coursework between students in the United States and Brazil (N=131).

Results: We found that an OIE environment led to enhanced global perspective-taking and improved student outcomes. The swift trust theory suggests that such outcomes would ultimately enhance virtual team performance.

Impact on the IS area: We contribute to the IS scholarship by extending the swift trust theory to include global perspective-taking and provide practical suggestions to academic IS programs on implementing effective OIE practices. We also report the benefits of global perspective-taking on international virtual team performance, which is of interest to hiring organizations.


Erskine, M. A., Zaza, S., Araújo, R. D., Horita, F. E. A., & Wahls, N. (2022). ENHANCING STUDENTS’ GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE-TAKING TO IMPROVE VIRTUAL TEAM PERFORMANCE: A SWIFT TRUST THEORY PERSPECTIVE Proceedings of the XVIII Brazilian Symposium on Information Systems, Curitiba, Brazil.


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