Does temporal distance (still) affect the performance of virtual teams?

Idan Roth*, Dov Te'eni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many were optimistic that virtual collaboration in distributed projects would eliminate distance and, furthermore, enable work around the clock to achieve high performance. We ask whether this optimism has held up over the past two decades, in the face of changes in technology and changes in the workplace. Using an adjusted measure of temporal distance (ATD), the paper models the perceived decision quality in a project as a function of ATD, mediated by communication richness and moderated by project analysability. The model was tested in 2009 and again in 2019 with a combined quantitative and qualitative field study. The results suggest that the relationship between ATD and perceived decision quality is nonlinear and is mediated by communication richness. In 2019, projects engaged in significantly richer communication compared with 2009, yet temporal distance still made a difference. The results did not show an interaction effect between communication richness and project analysability. We argue that despite substantial IT progress, temporal distance is not dead and should be managed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-101
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Project Organisation and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • adjusted temporal distance
  • ATD
  • CMC
  • communication richness
  • computer-mediated communication
  • perceived decision quality
  • project analysability
  • project management
  • temporal distance
  • time zone
  • virtual teams


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