How To Work Effectively In Virtual Teams

Virtual teams are becoming more and more prevalent in the global business community. But they come with some unique challenges, for which business students often are not sufficiently prepared, experts say. To address this problem, an article in the latest issue of Small Group Research presents an experiential activity for undergrads in which students from around the world work together in a virtual team to bring these issues to light:

The goal of this VT [virtual team] experiential activity is to demonstrate to students how working in VTs can (a) be similar to working in FtF [face-to-face] teams, (b) have several advantages over FtF teams, and yet (c) present some unique challenges. Based on the results of student surveys completed prior to working on this activity, many of our students are uninformed about these issues given their lack of experience working in VTs. In fact, most students report that using technology to communicate is easy and that in the future, there will be little need for FtF communication. Students are also quick to point out that technology allows individuals to work on projects at times that are most convenient to their specific schedules and to seek assistance in real time rather than SGR_72ppiRGB_150pixwwaiting for a predetermined meeting time. Students also report that they foresee few limitations to working in virtual teams. While for some students these sentiments remain true even after participating in the VT activity, for others their perceptions are changed significantly after having the opportunity to work with geographically dispersed team members.

Continue reading the article, “Virtual Team Effectiveness: An Experiential Activity,” published by Lucy L. Gilson of the University of Connecticut, M. Travis Maynard of Colorado State University, and Erich B. Bergiel of the University of West Georgia in the Small Group Research August 2013 issue.

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This entry was posted in Education, Teams, Technology and tagged , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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