Communication and the Virtual Team Essay

Communication and the Virtual Team Essay

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Communication and the Virtual Team
Information
The successful passing of information creates an important bond between virtual team members. “Without creating the connections, a virtual team can’t do what it needs to; function as a cohesive unit” (Thompson, n.d., Introduction section, ¶2). Information should be specific to the task at hand with a common goal in mind. Complete and accurate information not only helps a team reach its goal, but it also avoids problems and conflicts that arise between members. The importance of clear, concise information in a virtual team can not be stressed enough; however, timing should also be considered when sharing information. Information not received in a timely fashion also jeopardizes the cohesiveness of the team.
Methods
The methods of communicating for a virtual team consist of different tools than used by a traditional team because “…awareness of others’ activities is more difficult and requires some degree of technological intervention” (Fussell et.al., 1998, p. 276). A virtual team needs to use alternative tools because it has members working from different geographical areas and possibly at different times. A traditional team meets face to face, whereas a virtual team needs the use of technology to operate and interact efficiently. Teleconferencing, video conferencing, faxing, e-mail, and instant messaging are some of the tools available to a virtual team.
Teleconferencing gives a team the convenience of sharing information in real time. When meeting in this manner, team members are able to receive instant feedback. Other members can also listen to the tone and inflection of the member speaking. Telephone conferencing involves minimal cost but requires that team members be avail...


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...eam communication. Retrieved June 5, 2008, from http://interlinktc.com/public_html/achieving.html
Parker, G. (2003). Cross-functional teams: Working with allies, enemies, and other strangers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. pp.170-194.
Thomas, D., & Bostrom, R. (2008). Building trust and cooperation through technology adaptation in virtual teams: Empirical field evidence. Information Systems Management, 25(1), 45-56. Retrieved June 13, 2008, from EBSCOhost database.
Thomas, D., Bostrom, R. P., & Gouge, M. (2007). Making knowledge work in virtual teams. Communications of the ACM, 50(11), 85-90. Retrieved June 13, 2008, from EBSCOhost database.
Thompson, M. (n.d.). 7 Steps to exceptional virtual team communication. Retrieved June 5, 2008, from http://www.teambuildingtips.com/team-building-articles/team-communication/7-steps-to-exceptional-virtual-team-communication.html

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