New forms of
communication and the constantly changing work environment have forced
organizations to rethink of ways to improve various aspect of organizational
life. In particular, technology allows groups to interact through interactive
computer communication which relieves the need for physical proximity, and
emphasize the importance of different motivational construct such as efficacy
beliefs. This study attempted to broaden the understanding of such dynamics,
and investigated the effects of others' emotions in a virtual team setting.
Specifically, the influence of others' emotions on self and collective efficacy
of members of virtual teams was examined. Using a trained confederate and a web
based task that simulated a virtual work environment, two emotional conditions
(anger and happiness) were examined. The results demonstrated that others'
emotions can affect efficacy beliefs: while anger decreased both self and
collective efficacy, happiness of a team member increased those measures. In
addition, others' emotions are shown to contribute to the explanation of post
task efficacy above other well established variables. This study is a first
step toward an understanding of the connection between others' emotions and
motivation. Theoretical implications of the finding and future directions for
research are discussed.