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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

E-Tools for E-Team: The Importance of Social Ties and Knowledge Sharing: Business IS&T Book Chapter | IGI Global



E-Tools for E-Team: The Importance of Social Ties and Knowledge Sharing

E-Tools for E-Team: The Importance of Social Ties and Knowledge Sharing

Cathrine Linnes (Hawaii Pacific University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9688-4.ch006

Abstract

Organizations
are heavily investing in virtual teams to enhance their performance and
competitiveness. These types of teams are made possible by advances in
computer-mediated communication and software that allows people to work
collaboratively on projects without being co-located or even working at
the same time. Managing teams and collaborating online presents unique
challenges. Maintaining a productive virtual team requires more than
just the willingness of global participants, but even more so the tools
to conduct and manage virtual projects. It is therefore important to
incorporate online collaboration skills into the IT curriculum at the
university level. This chapter provides a general overview of virtual
teams; today's collaborative tools, and discuss expertise necessary for
virtual teams to be successful.
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Introduction

The
globalization has changed the traditional workplace to a more modern
workplace where the technology has created new opportunities that did
not exist before (Cascio, 2015). The world has become more competitive
because of the endless opportunities of information and resources due to
the globalization. According to Townsend et al. (1998), an organization
has no choice but to operate in a world shaped by globalization and the
information revolution. There are only two options: adapt or die
(Townsend et al. 1998). A solution to how an organization can embrace
the technological revolution is through virtual teams. Virtual team
members primary interact through electronic communication systems, and
are often consisting of members that are dispersed both organizationally
and geographically (Cascio, 2000). Teams used to be located in one
place with face-to-face meetings and collaboration as the most efficient
or sometimes only option. Now teams have become virtual, consisting of
telecommuters and co-workers located around the globe collaborating on
various jobs. In academia educators are struggling to get todays
students feel comfortable collaborating on IT project solely online, it
can even be hard in the classroom sometimes. However, if combined with
face-to-face meetings then the teams become more effective. There are
many e-tools, which are helping to close this gap such as Bit bucket,
Bitrix, Google Docs, Instant Messaging, Drop Box etc. Google Docs allows
for multiple people modifying a document at the same time whereas Drop
Box does not. Jing is an interesting program that allows you to take a
screen capture or make a video and add a voice over. This is most
beneficial when creating instructional videos or tutorials. Skype has
been around for years and offers the most popular form of video
conference calls. The biggest perk is that the service is free for
mobile devices. On the other hand basecamp is an online collaboration
tool that is used to manage projects to include task lists and team
communication (Rawson, 2010).

The current work environment is
quite complex with many changes and uncertainties. This has led to
changes to the ways in which teamwork occurs. Virtual teams rely on
information being communicated to all its members swiftly and team
members have to feel comfortable and knowledgeable using various tools
to increase accuracy and efficiency with the product being developed.

Factors
that improve the quality of teamwork include the effectiveness of each
individual, the information sharing process, project commitment, and
joint responsibility for the milestones (Senge, 2006). Whether
face-to-face or virtual, teams require parallel and distributive
leadership (Andrews et al., 2004). Virtual teams are based on a
leadership culture of learning, trust, and openness, which is
communicated to all members that there are choices and that any
individual can demonstrate leadership and thus influence direction and
development (Walker & Shuangye, 2007). Virtual teams must have
members who are capable of reflection, active and critical thinking, and
who are capable of moving in unison even if individuals are separated
geographically. Lister and Harnish (2011) reported there are about 2.9
million U.S. virtual workers since 2005. Between 2005 and 2009, it grew
by 61%. Based on the current trends, it will grow to 4.9 million by
2016.

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgment
Christian Graham
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Chapter 2
Julia Eisenberg, Jennifer L. Gibbs, Niclas Erhardt
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Chapter 3
Hamed Nozari, Seyed Esmaeil Najafi, Meisam Jafari-Eskandari, Alireza Aliahmadi
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Chapter 5
Amir Manzoor
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Chapter 8
William Dario Avila Diaz
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Chapter 13
Nitasha Hasteer, Abhay Bansal, B. K. Murthy
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Chapter 14
Frank Stowell, Shavindrie Cooray
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Chapter 15
Hemant
Purohit, Mamta Dalal, Parminder Singh, Bhavana Nissima, Vijaya Moorthy,
Arun Vemuri, Vidya Krishnan, Raheel Khursheed, Surendran Balachandran,
Harsh Kushwah, Aashish Rajgaria
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Chapter 16
Tarek Taha Mohamed Kandil, Shereen Hassan Nassar
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About the Contributors


E-Tools for E-Team: The Importance of Social Ties and Knowledge Sharing: Business IS&T Book Chapter | IGI Global

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