Virtual Teams Essay

Total Length: 652 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

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“No man is an island.” “There is no I in team.” Organizations have long been aware of the fact that the synergies generated by a team can result in great things being accomplished, greater than the individuals could hope to embark upon alone. The existence of online technology has enabled organizations to cobble together new teams in ways that could never have been dreamt of in the past, as individuals from all over the globe can interact using video conferencing, email, and other forms of social media. As noted by Ferrazzi (2014): “Companies can use the best and lowest-cost global talent and significantly reduce their real estate costs” (par.2). In other words, the best IT specialist in India can interface with a top-notch marketing specialist in the company’s United States headquarters.



But creating an effective virtual team is not as easy as stirring up a stew according to a recipe and simply adding the top performers at the company to create the right mix. The right blend of character and talents is essential. In fact, the difficulties of creating an effective virtual team is one reason why such teams so often fail. According to a study of virtual teams summarized in the Harvard Business Review, “82% fell short of their goals and 33% rated themselves as largely unsuccessful” (Ferrazzi, 2014, par. 3). Even if a team may be composed of the best of the best, strategies are needed to ensure that the team truly becomes a team and can function well.




For example, the fact that virtual teams lack the ability to exchange subtle interpersonal and nonverbal cues with one another may lead to communication barriers. This is especially true if the team is made up of individuals from very different national or regional cultures or have disparate professional frameworks of reference. Team members should ideally have strong communication skills and high levels of emotional intelligence (Ferrazzi 2014). But this does not mean that such skills cannot be taught through team-based and individual self-awareness exercises such as icebreaking activities and encouraging participants to take questionnaires so they understand their preferred interpersonal style and how it may differ from others. For virtual teams, knowledge of how to communicate in an online format, not simply face-to-face is an additional skill that must be learned.



Roles on the team should also be clearly defined….....

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References

Derven, M. (2016). Four drivers to enhance global virtual teams. Industrial & Commercial Training, 48(1), 1-8. doi.10.1108/ICT-08-2015-0056

Ferrazzi, K. (2014). Getting virtual teams right. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved: https://hbr.org/2014/12/getting-virtual-teams-right

Olaisen, J., & Revang, O. (2017). Working smarter and greener: Collaborative knowledge sharing in virtual global project teams. International Journal of Information Management, 37(1a), 1441-1448. doi:10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2016.10.002

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