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Subjective distance in teams

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This paper develops the concept of subjective distance as a critical, but under-specified, factor in the effectiveness of virtual work arrangements. Past research has focused on objective, geographic distance and produced conflicting and inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between distance and a variety of important processes and outcomes (e.g., team communication and performance). The authors define subjective distance as individuals' cognitive and affective representation of the distance between them and their team members, and argue that it is likely to predict important team outcomes better than objective distance. Then, they offer a model of subjective distance and the individual, social, task, and organizational factors that shape it.

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