Posts Tagged ‘subgroups’

Challenges Facing Virtual Teams

April 14th, 2012 No comments

The rise of marketplace globalization (Lurey & Raisinghani, 2001), the advances in computer technology, the multicultural nature of the workforce, and the ever-changing environment have led to the emergence of virtual teams (Shachaf, 2008). A virtual team is a geographically distributed group with a temporary lifespan and membership (Purvanova & Bono, 2009) performing interdependent tasks and relying on communication media to achieve its goals (Bosch-Sijtsema, 2007). Virtual team members may be dispersed within the organization’s facilities, in a single country, or across several countries and time zones (Wakefield & Leidner, 2008). A recent survey by the Gartner group showed that more than 60% of employees work in virtual teams (Martins, Gilson, and Maynard, 2004). These teams provide potential benefits to the organization including 24-hour service, travel cost-cutting, and best expertise employment (Kankanhalli, Tan, & Wei, 2006). Yet those teams face challenges in cultural diversity, distortion in communication mechanisms, and time zone disparities (Shachaf, 2008). This essay will demonstrate solutions against these challenges to explain the rising opportunities of virtual teams. These solutions will include the appropriate team member selection, the effective use of communication media, the importance of four virtual leadership roles (facilitator, mentor, monitor, and coordinator), the establishment of positive team processes, the e-ethical management, the balance management between individual and organization expectations, the transformational leadership under uncertainty conditions, the awareness from virtual team subgrouping, the significance of establishing and promoting relationships among members, and finally the design of a proper HRM system.

Categories: Leadership