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Monday, 21 November 2011

Leading Virtual Teams

Author(s): Dan Novak (IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences, USA), and Mihai C. Bocarnea (Regent University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Margherita Pagani (Bocconi University, Italy )
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch114
ISBN13: 9781605660141
ISBN10: 1605660140
EISBN13: 9781605660158


New forms of organizations, such as virtual teams who primarily conduct their work through electronic media, are becoming more common. With the proliferation of information and communication technology (ICT), most organizational teams are now virtual to some extent (Martins, Gilson, & Maynard, 2004). Virtuality is now a matter of degree (Kratzer, Leenders, & Van Engelen, 2006) as most teams in knowledge-intensive organizations are somewhere on a continuum between traditional teams with no electronic media and completely virtual teams engaging through electronic interaction. Many organizations have assumed that there are minimal differences between traditional teams and virtual teams (Rosen, Furst, & Blackburn, 2006). However, many scholars now suggest the differences are substantial, requiring different approaches and skills to virtual teams (Balotsky & Christensen, 2004). Virtual teams are complex, spanning boundaries across groups, functions, organizations, time zones, and geographies (Adler, Black, & Loveland, 2003), and the organizational leadership issues are important (Vakola & Wilson, 2004). This article reviews the virtual team literature to uncover differences between virtual teams and traditional teams from an organizational leadership perspective. The purpose of this article is to understand what differences exist, what is known about the differences, what still needs to be studied, and some practical implications for organizations and leaders. The literature is reviewed around four leadership aspects of virtual teams: trust, communication, interaction, and the organizational system. The organizational system includes the role of the leader, the organizational structure, culture, goal setting, and training specifically for virtual teams. Practical implications from the literature and recommendations for further research are included in the discussion. Leading Virtual Teams (9781605660141): Dan Novak, Mihai C. Bocarnea: Book Chapters

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