Technology : A Virtual Team

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Advances in technology have enabled virtual teams to become more prevalent in today’s society. A virtual team can range from a group of long distance students coming together as a group and a team of individuals working together on a project from their respective homes, to a CEO conducting a corporate videoconference from another to country with other departments or subordinates. According to Lilian (2014), “as information and knowledge is diffused by modern technology, working and innovation are shifting form structures inside the organization to broader virtual knowledge networks that may reach across time and space boundaries making physical location, buildings, and distribution channels less important” (p. 1252). This result shifts away from the traditional model. As Ruggieri (2009) explained: According to the traditional model, leaders are supposed to offer encouragement, reward, and motivation, mostly through their physical presence or comments, and reinforce the development of relationship inside the group. A virtual environment makes it necessary to revise these aspects, owing in part of the fact that there is also interaction with a machine. One of the fundamental characteristics in this new context is the recognizability of the leader’s status. In FTF interaction, the most significant indicators involve body language, vocal inflection, eye contact, clothing, and so on, which CMG can be difficult to perceive. (pp. 1017-1018). Even though some team members may still prefer face-to-face interaction and collaboration, communication technologies have revolutionized relationship dynamics and data exchange among members of an organization (Berry, 2011). As stated by Lilian (2014), “virtual teams are geographically and organi... ... middle of paper ... ... in in charge of a group of subordinates who are present in a virtual environment and are located in different time zones. Not only do these types of leaders need to rely on their leadership skills set but they also need to expand and learn new skills and add these new skills to their repertoire to become successful leaders in a virtual setting (Berry, 2011). Despite not having physical contact or closeness in virtual teams, leaders are still held accountable for his team’s respective objectives (Berry, 2011). In order to optimize his effectiveness as a leader, a virtual leader must be able to sell his vision to his subordinates by communicating effectively with them (Shaari, Chang, & Shanks, 2008), and also establish trust amongst team members without interpersonal interaction by relying on technology-enabled communication (Greenberg, Greenberg, & Antonucci, 2007).
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