Romeike, P. / Nienaber, A. / Schewe, G. (2016) “I’m a high flyer – what’s my return?” How perceived overperformance decreases trust and job satisfaction in virtual teams, Human Performance, 29 (4): 291-309.


Employees frequently engage in social comparison processes and tend to perceive their own performance as superior compared to that of their peers. We expect this to be particularly salient in virtual teams where employees receive few cues upon which the comparison with other members of their team can be based. With reliance on social comparison and social exchange theory, we propose that such ‘perceived overperformance’ has negative effects on job satisfaction which are mediated by trust in the team. We confirm this with a sample of field-service employees (n = 753) using structural equation modelling with bootstrapping. We corroborated our findings in focus groups which suggest the need for performance indicators that are easily communicated to and comprehended by employees to maintain trust and satisfaction.

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Prof. Dr. Ann-Marie Nienaber
Professor in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behavior

Head of Research Group: Trust and Workplaces

Coventry University, United Kingdom
(Modern University of the Year 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations