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The Characteristics of Virtual Teams Essay

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-This paper will show and describe what the communication characteristics of virtual -teams are.

-It will state the multiple benefits and implications of virtual communication.

-It will state how the traditional face-to-face teams have adapted almost every aspect of the virtual teams, except of course the geographical aspect.

-It will also show how the rapidly increasing technology makes organisations who uses virtual teams, are more strengthened in the increasing competitive global market.

Definitions:

Virtual teams are said to be comprised of people who are geographically separated and who work across boundaries of space and time by utilizing modern computer driven technologies. Virtual team members seldom if ever meet.

Face-to-face teams are traditionally described as small groups of people who come together combining their skills for a common purpose. Group cohesiveness will be determined by several factors but in particular by the level of interactivity that occurs between members and when a clear vision and shared goals can be identified.

Communication characteristics of a virtual team:

Virtual teams uses a whole range of different ways to communicate, these characteristics are, Internet, e-mail, intranet, cellular phones, virtual chat-rooms, collaborative software such as video- and teleconferencing. ((Linda Arnison & Peter Miller_2002)

For a virtual team to function properly it may need some or the entire list above.

With all that variation in communication tools the pure virtual team have a benefit in that sense that they do not need to leave their workplace to communicate with each other, they have all the necessary means to have either a meeting with all of the team members or just one by o...


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...one of the most important tools for the virtual teams will be inaccessible, the networking. Almost all the work virtual teams do will go through the Internet, such as sending emails, which is one of the most important tools for communicating with the other team members. (Christine Uber Grosse_2002) And if the technology brakes down and you don't have the advantage of just strolling down the corridor to a team member's office some may feel isolated and abandoned (Linda Arnison & Peter Miller_2002)

The human aspect is also an important issue; many people can't cope with all the new technology and the lack of "real people" to work with, that they have to acquire new skills to adapt and understand to the new technology (Carla Joinson_2002) And not everybody has the skill to work independently, many need the "kick" in the right direction from the team-leader or manager.


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