Characteristics Of Virtual Team

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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
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On one hand, task processes category includes communications, collaboration and task-technology fit. On the other hand, socio-emotional process includes relations between team members, cohesion and trust. (Dakrory, 2009). Nevertheless, task-related processes are proven to be a heart of any virtual team, social-emotional processes are obviously important too. The explosive development of information technologies during the last 15 years gave managers a wide range of tools for building collaboration in remote teams but all these technological tools do not social-emotional issues such as cultural diversity, types of personality etc. That is why this aspect of managing virtual team has still attracts the attention of scientists.
In 1980, Geert Hofstede started studying cultural differences among organisations. Later Bob Waisfisz in collaboration with Geert Hofstede created the Organisational Cultural model where he defined types of organisational culture based on six autonomous and two semi-autonomous dimensions (Hofstede, 2001).
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Even using most advanced communication tools could not give project manager enough indication of introverted or extraverted preferences of the personnel. So asking every team member and combining their extraverted and introverted style could be very effective. For instance, remote team members who are extraverts feel comfortable responding to communication immediately and prefer face-to-face type of communication. Per contra, introverts used to process information and consider alternatives before responding. That is why emails and short messages are more preferable for them. A number of tools could be used to identify this factor for instance MBTI SDI which could be done 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

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