X-RAYING VIRTUAL TEAMS AND EFFECTIVE DECISION MAKING IN AN EMERGENT ENVIRONMENT: A STUDY OF LAGOS STATE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
The virtual team approach has been in existence in advanced economies, but this became more prevalent in most developing countries like Nigeria during the lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of Covid-19. Most organizations started considering using virtual platforms in Nigeria like video conferencing and virtual teams in carrying out firm activities because of the restriction of movement. This approach has become “a new normal” across the globe after the ease of the lockdown. However, the influence of this digital application on decision-making has not been adequately examined in the literature since the approach, whereby the team members are carrying out their group tasks virtually is relatively new in the Nigerian system. This study, therefore, with the aid of Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST), examined the effect of virtual teams on effective decision-making in the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service. A cross-sectional survey method was employed to administer 347 copies of the questionnaire to the 2,635 staff population of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service in 39 tax offices across the State out of which 254 copies were properly filled and returned representing a 73.2% response rate. Multiple regression was adopted, and the results revealed that group leadership was the strongest predictor of effective decision-making followed by group communication and group trust. However, group cohesion did not show any significant influence but was found to have a positive relationship. The study concludes that virtual teams affect the effectiveness of decision-making in an emergent situation. It is recommended in this study, therefore, that there is a need to develop a control mechanism to constantly evaluate the decision-making process in virtual teams to avoid its pitfalls.