week3_assignment_lecture - WhyVirtual?||||...

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The Rise of Virtual Teams Why Virtual?  |  Virtual Communication Channels  |  Virtual Team Management  |  Virtual Team Success Factors  |  Educational Impact  |  Self-Test Why Virtual? Virtual teams are also referred to as Geographically Dispersed Teams (GDT), given that the members of  the team are geographically separated from one another. Virtual teams have emerged for several reasons: 1. As organizations become larger, they also tend to become more geographically dispersed both  regionally and globally. 2. Organizations now operate in a global business environment, and they rely on global partnering for  their success. A global environment allows a company's workday to extend to 24 hours with work shifting  around the globe and passing from team to team. 3. Time and/or budget constraints often preclude the expense of travel for meetings. Even within a  proximate geographical region, hybrid virtual teams emerge, combining face-to-face (F2F) meetings with  virtual meetings. 4. The increasing sophistication and lower cost of virtual communication and meeting platforms make  GDTs more convenient. 5. Workers' demands for increased flexibility to control their personal work environment and time  commitments also contribute to the need for GDTs. Virtual teams have similar challenges to their counterparts, the F2F teams. They also go through all the  stages of group development; forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Managing these  stages of team development in a virtual environment is the same as managing them in the F2F  environment, but it adds the complexity of dealing with potentially low channel richness for  communication. Maximizing the richness of the virtual communication channel is an important first step in  helping your team get to the performing stage of group development. Virtual Communication Channels There are many forms of communication channels available for virtual teams. Listed below are a few of  these forms, along with some of their advantages and disadvantages. Channel/Richness Advantage Disadvantage Bulletin Board/Lowest Asynchronous (not dependent on real time participation), low cost Slow information exchange rate, participation can drop off if not managed well E-mail/Low Asynchronous (not dependent on real time), documents and files can be attached for review, brief audio narration also can be embedded in the files, very Some limits to file size attachments, hard to interpret emotional content unless directly stated, slow information
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reliable, user friendly, few technological issues, low cost exchange rate Phone/Medium Conference calls allow for whole group meetings, which creates a sense of connection. Rapid information exchange and
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