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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Virtual Teams: Opportunities and Challenges for e-Leaders

Virtual Teams: Opportunities and Challenges for e-Leaders


Abstract

In
the globalized world with crucial technological changes, leaders are
facing unforeseen opportunities as well as challenges while striving to
reach their objectives. Such changes have led to organizational
restructurings and implied rethinking of leadership functions and
practices. Changing organizational structures, from traditional
hierarchical towards lower and more flexible ones, have made leaders
organize work in new ways. Teams account for one new way of organizing
work and reaching organizational goals. Likewise, globalized markets
have made leaders search for new solutions to meet the needs of
customers. In consequence, organizations strive for competitive
advantages through downsizing, subcontracting, joint ventures, strategic
alliances, and other collaborative and network-based alternatives which
are typically facilitated by virtual teams. Virtual teams are
geographically and organizationally dispersed teams that function over
time zones. Due to such dispersion, physical contact in virtual teams is
reduced or lacking altogether which means that collaboration is enabled
by IT-solutions such as computer- based communication. This kind of
electronically facilitated team work is known to imply opportunities as
well as challenges for today's global e-leaders. Research on virtual
teams suggests that organizational success greatly depends on
leadership. However, it remains unclear what kind of leaders, and more
specifically, which leadership skills, behaviors or practices contribute
to effective virtual teams. To add knowledge on the field and fill such
research gap, this article aims at exploring e-leadership and answering
these questions.

Keywords

  • Global teams;
  • leadership;
  • IT;
  • virtual teams;
  • e-leadership


Virtual Teams: Opportunities and Challenges for e-Leaders

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