Challenges_In_Managing_Virtual_Teams.pdf

The work and contributions allow for communication

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the work and contributions, allow for communication between individuals and also with the entire group, and maintain a collaboratively established core document or project. Keeping any team working together and communicating effectively is always a challenge, but with virtual teams these issues are far more of a concern. We know that it is necessary and important for people in organizations to keep in touch on a regular basis, and in most organizations today that is becoming increasingly difficult even with improved communication technologies. Even in “normal” co -located teams it is not unusual for team membership to be dynamic and change as needs dictate. Another trend that is common today is for teams to have members or consultants who function as a member of the team, but who are from outside of the parent organization. They are included in the team because they possess information, skills, or expertise that is essential for the team to have access to and which may not be available inside the organization. Further, it is common for workers to be involved in several teams at the same time and work on different projects simultaneously. Traditionally, work teams typically had specific projects with a beginning, a finite life span, and an end. Today it is more common for projects to be large, dynamic, and to evolve and change as circumstances dictate. Given these increased sources of complexity and complication for many (perhaps most) teams today, by adding the additional problems of having teams that are distributed (not co-located), working at different times, and perhaps working from different countries and time zones, and even with different native languages, one can see how quickly the levels of complexity dramatically M
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Journal of Business & Economics Research March, 2010 Volume 8, Number 3 70 increase. Another interesting aspect of organizations today is that many workers on different teams or in matrix- types of organizations will have multiple-reporting relationships and will have different managers to report to for different projects on which they are working (Kimball, 1997). VIRTUAL TEAMS The use of virtual teams is a much more prevalent practice today, and it is being found in many different types of organizations and not just in the “high tech” arena. According to Duarte and Snyder (1999), virtual teams operate “…without the physical limitations of distance, time, and organizational boundaries. They use electronic collaboration technologies and other techniques to lower travel and facility costs, reduce project schedules, and improve decision- making time and communication (p. 4).” Gould (2006) simplifies this picture with the following equation: Virtual teams=teams+electronic links+groupware This equation points out that the three components of virtual teams include the people on the team, some form of CMC that will allow them to communicate interactively, and a software platform that will allow them to simultaneously work on a project at different times and from different places, and still track and integrate the work in a meaningful and efficient manner.
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  • Spring '17
  • Ma
  • Virtual team, Journal of Business & Economics Research

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