Virtual Teams in Today's Scenarios

Pages: 3 (378 words) Published: March 15, 2010
Challenges, Processes & Current Relevance

A virtual team is a group of people that relies primarily or exclusively on electronic forms of communication to work together in accomplishing its goals. To be considered virtual to some degree, a team must have the following three attributes:

It is a functioning team—a collection of individuals who are interdependent in their tasks, share responsibility for outcomes, see themselves and are viewed by others as an intact social unit embedded in one or more social systems, and collectively manage their relationships across organizational boundaries (Hackman, 1987; Alderfer, 1977). The members of the team are geographically dispersed. The team relies on technology-mediated communications rather than face-to-face interaction to accomplish their tasks.

Four Team Members Inside Silos: Beginning to Build a Shared Culture


Principle 1: Map out collaborative work structures and processes. Principle 2: Craft a supportive culture.

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Principle 3: Develop continuously evolving knowledge-sharing and management systems. Principle 4: Define new roles for leaders.

Principle 5: Align and sustain support systems.

• Virtual Teams in Medical Care Delivery

• A large U.S. bank's information technology (IT) group.
• Outsourced Business Models of companies with Business teams, infrastructure teams & Support teams residing in different time zones


Recognize that boundary crossing is a challenge that must be managed for virtual teams to achieve high performance levels. Recognize that team members have to learn how to connect with other members across the boundaries, and new competencies may need to be developed to facilitate this linking.

Provide training that builds cultural competencies so the team processes will enable all members to feel ownership for the...
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