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Virtual Teams

 
 

Engagement of geographically dispersed workers in a virtual team format is filled with merits and demerits. The developments in technologies have assisted the team building process through the computer mediated communication also known as the CMC (Dietz-Uhler & Clark, 2001). The foremost advantage of this medium is the rapid reduction of costs and the depletion of the differences that can occur in a real team due to power. The studies from Bergiel et al., (2008) have saved the organization upto $ 50 million. The use of virtual teams according to some workers is more motivating and enjoyable (Nowak, 2003). The expertise of the workers can be harnessed using the virtual teams and members.

 
 

Although there are numerous benefits of virtual teams, it has been noted that there are some disadvantages as well in using a virtual team model. Lind (1999) criticized virtual teams for the time they consume in scheduling a task. There are other barriers that are due to the time zone changes. The problems like video conferencing or messaging is sometimes difficult as the team members are located in various regions. The training needs of the members and improving their effectiveness becomes a challenge for the managers. The problems associated with trust are higher in case of the team that is virtual as the individuals located at different places are not sure about the intentions of each other (Cascio, 2000).

Storper & Venables (2004) mention that the role of the manager should be to build effective communication channel that can increase the bonding between the team. This can be done by the manager in the form of making certain rules in regards to being in touch through a particular channel, and pre deciding about the frequency of communication.

References

 
 
  1. Bergiel, B J, Bergiel, E B, & Balsmeier, P W 2008, Nature of virtual teams: A summary of their advantages and disadvantages, Management Research News, 31(2), 99-110.
  1. Cascio, W F 2000, Managing a virtual workplace, Academy of Management Executive, 14(3), 81-90.
  1. Dietz-Uhler, B, & Bishop-Clark, C 2001, The use of computer-mediated communication to enhance subsequent face-to-face discussions, Computers in Human Behavior, 17, 269-283.
  1. Lind, M R 1999, The gender impact of temporary virtual work groups, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 42(4), 276.
  1. Nowak, K L 2003, Sex categorization in computer mediated communication (CMC): Exploring the utopian promise, Media Psychology, 5(1), 83-103.
  1. Storper, M, & Venables, A J 2004, Buzz: Face-to-face contact and the urban economy, Journal of Economic Geography, 4, 351-370.
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