Governance has emerged in the last few years as critical to the success of software development, a result of an increased focus on team work. Governance of software teams includes practices of defining and executing decision rights and mechanisms to empower the development process to be governed. We report on an empirical survey of team members of global development projects in six companies. Using factor analysis, we classify four governance mechanisms as follows: governance definition, governance enactment, business awareness, and goal achievement. The results reveal among others that high levels of governance definition and goal achievement in a team are related to a lower level of team conflict. These significant relationships as well as the lack of significant relationships between the other governance mechanisms and team conflict, offers important insight into enhancing the effectiveness of global teams through governance. © 2011 IEEE.