Global virtual teams have been described as being valuable but “fraught with problems,” (Gordon, 2017, p. 1). Many of the issues confounding virtual teams are not technological issues such as network security but rather, are related to social and psychological factors. The failure of virtual teams to achieve stated goals may be due to any number of challenges, ranging from the lack of face-to-face interaction that provides the nonverbal communication context (Quisenberry, 2018) to the different means by which each member of the team uses or interacts with the technology and with team members (German, 2017). Global virtual teams are instrumental, necessitating further research into how to formally improve their operations via improvements to leadership models or to the actual technological instruments used to facilitate communication.
Recent literature has been abundant on virtual teams and how to make them more effective. Quisenberry (2018) demonstrates the importance of emotional intelligence to highly functioning virtual teams. This research can be used to underscore the importance of providing emotional intelligence skills training to all employees who become members of virtual teams and especially to group leaders. Likewise, German (2017) found that emotional intelligence is strongly correlated with factors that lead to high virtual team performance including trust and the generation of the self-confidence needed to work independently.
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Gordon (2017) shows how the same types of leadership strategies used in face-to-face teams do not transfer easily to the virtual environment, noting how roles and tasks both need to be adapted to encourage greater empathy and emotional intelligence. As the literature on emotional intelligence as a key variable on virtual teams becomes more robust, some research like that of Orta-Castanon, Urbina-Coronado, Ahuett-Garza, et al (2018) demonstrate how the technologies used in virtual environments can itself be changed to facilitate emotionally intelligent communications. Likewise, Malcondo da Cruz, Moriya-Huzita & Feltrim (2018) show how technology and user experiences impact the development of trust on virtual teams.
General Business Problem
The general business problem is how to make virtual teams more predictable as well as more effective, offering leaders specific strategies they can employ when recruiting team members, forming the team and creating its virtual culture, and mobilizing the team to achieve its goals. Specifically, the problems that need to be addressed with regards to improving virtual teams are related to….....
German, D.A. (2017). Supervisor communication in virtual teams. University of Phoenix, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2017. 10640445.
Gordon, A. (2017). Leadership interaction in global virtual teams. Thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/10292/10769
Gillespie, N, de Jong, B, Williamson, I.O. et al. (2017). Trust congruence in teams. Academy of Management Proceedings 2017(1): https://doi.org/10.5465/ambpp.2017.15580abstract
Malcondo da Cruz, G.A., Moriya-Huzita, E.H., & Feltrim, V.D. (2018). ARSENAL-GSD: A framework for trust estimation in virtual teams based on sentiment analysis
Orta-Castanon, P., Urbina-Coronado, P., Ahuett-Garza, H., et al. (2018). Social collaboration software for virtual teams: case studies. International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing 12(1): 15-24.
Quisenberry, W.L. (2018). Exploring how emotional intelligence contributes to virtual teams. European Scientific Journal 14(5): http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/10483/9991