Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Deepak Khazanchi

Second Advisor

Dr. Matt Germonprez

Third Advisor

Dr. Harvey Siy

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ilze Zigurs


In an environment of global competition and constant technological change, the use of virtual teams has become commonplace for many organizations. Virtual team members are geographically and temporally dispersed, experience cultural diversity, and lack shared social context and face-to-face encounters considered as irreplaceable for building and maintaining trust. Previous research has established that higher trusting teams have better cooperation and experience improved outcomes; however, trust building in a team where members are from different backgrounds, time zones and cultures is a considerable challenge. Virtual teams (VTs) rely heavily on technology to facilitate coordination, communication, and control in the team. One particular technology that has generated great interest as a viable tool in VTs is broadly referred to as metaverses. Metaverses provide unique technology capabilities that allow individuals to interact in a three-dimensional space. Unique capabilities such as visual communication among avatars, video and audio chat, and the communication of deliberate body language through gestures and other nonverbal cues may provide opportunities for VTs, particularly in relation to trust building. The broad goal of this research is to increase our understanding of the relationship between virtual team members and information technology during the development of trust. Specifically, this thesis focuses on understanding the relationship between metaverse technology capabilities and trust development between VT members by studying how technology capabilities are used and modified to shape trust in general and interpersonal trust in particular.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Copyright 2012 Dawn Owens.

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