On Monday, November 14, 2011, Terry Burnham, Shawn Carlson, Roger Chikamura, Heidi Davidson and Natasha DeJesus were assigned membership of Team 1 for a virtual team project. The purpose of the project was to conduct a leadership analysis of a world-renowned leader, to be presented in the form of a narrated PowerPoint presentation. Areas of organizational behavior to be analyzed include: leadership of diversity practices; leadership values, personality and decision-making; leadership of organizational culture; leadership of follower motivation; and overall success as a leader.
Team 1, by mutual consent, chose to use e-mail as the primary means of communication. Although, the planning and execution of the project, was carried out efficiently and considered a success by all members of the team, there are still a number of lessons that were learnt for future projects.
According to Kurland and Bailey (1999) a virtual team “consists of team members who are geographically dispersed and who come together by way of telecommunications technology. Each team member may be located in a traditional office setting, but the offices are not proximate to one another” (p. 56). This definition is supported by Berry (2011) who adds that the two main differences between virtual and regular teams are that the members of virtual teams may be dispersed geographically and rely predominately on computer-mediated communication.
As stated by Robbins and Judge (2011) virtual teams face a number of particular challenges. Members experience very little social interaction and do not feel the benefit of the usual give-and-take experienced by teams. They tend to be more task-orientated and members often report less satisfactio...
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...n be taken away from this project is that virtual teams work well when members are motivated and focused. But, had one, or more, members been uncommunicative, unreliable, or comfortable with the use of email as a primary means of communication, the team may have struggled to reach its goal. Other means of communication would have been required, and a more authoritarian form of leadership needed to keep the whole team focused.
Berry, G. R. (2011). Enhancing Effectiveness on Virtual Teams. Journal Of Business Communication, 48(2), 186-206. doi:10.1177/0021943610397270
Kurland, N.B., & Bailey, D.E. (1999). Telework: The advantages and challenges of working here, there, anywhere, and anytime. Organizational Dynamics, Autumn, 53-68.
Robbins, S.P., & Judge, T.A. (2011). Organizational behavior (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall
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