A Research Study On Virtual Teams Essay

A Research Study On Virtual Teams Essay

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Oxford Dictionary gives the following definition of the team, which is two or more people working together to achieve a common goal. Traditionally team is one of the core elements of any project. Historically, managers used to collocate team members in big offices to achieve a synergistic effect of a group work. Recently more and more project managers are tend to organize projects over distance, with team mostly consisting of people who are located in different parts of the world. These are so called virtual teams. To be considered virtual, any team should have the following characteristics:
• It is a functioning team—a collection of individuals who are interdependent in their tasks, share responsibility for outcomes, see themselves and are viewed by others as an intact social unit embedded in one or more social systems, and collectively manage their relationships across organizational boundaries (Hackman, 1987; Alderfer, 1977).
• Team members live and work in different cities or even countries.
• Most of the working interactions are based on information technologies rather than face-to-face communication.
There are seven types of virtual teams (Duarte, Snyder, 2001) which are presented in table 1.
Table 1
Type of Team Description
Network Team membership is diffuse and fluid; members come and go as needed. Team lacks clear boundaries within the organization.
Parallel Team has clear boundaries and distinct membership. Team works in the short term to develop recommendation for an improvement in a process or system.
Project or product Team has fluid membership, clear boundaries, and a defined customer base, development technical requirement, and output.
Work or production Team as distinct membership and clear boundaries. Members pe...

... middle of paper ...

...ne virtually.
If conduct a survey of what is the main challenge of managing a virtual team today, the majority of respondents will answer “miscommunication”. The most managers of virtual teams mistakenly suppose that more project meetings, e-mail updates could help to keep the project on track. Unfortunately, it could be a reason of an information overload for team members making them restlessly answer the emails and participate in meeting instead of doing their job. Clearly defined team rules and policies of communication can be a magic bullet for solving this problem.
To sum up, working across different countries with different cultures does not necessarily result in a drop in performance. Indeed, it can lead to increased efficiency and better business results if the dispersion is managed such that it becomes a valuable advantage, rather than a crippling liability.

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