Virtual work teams -- Management, Virtual work teams -- Decision making, Virtual work teams -- Conflict resolution
Virtual Teams are the reality of 21st century. These teams work across time, space and organizational boundaries towards common goals, providing the potential for the best possible results in the shortest time possible. A virtual team is a group of individuals who pursue shared objectives while based at distant work sites. Being geographically dispersed, reliance on technology for communication and the inability to meet face to face have made managing virtual teams challenging in most cases.
Our study topic is how modern companies overcome challenges in managing virtual teams. By doing a literature review, we identified the key challenges that virtual teams might face. Our team looked into detail at each problem areas and made a survey which has been answered by leaders and members of 21 high tech virtual teams. By analyzing the responses, we have come up with a list of the various ways that virtual teams are handling their challenges in real life. Among the common results, having regular follow up meetings in which leader shares the vision, check progress of the team, check quality of the deliverables, have round table discussion with each member seems to be the main practice which can cover most of the interpersonal and personal challenges virtual teams face. Using multiple/backup technologies as the communication media can guarantee a smooth communication among team members. Time zone differences can be handled by proper scheduling. It is also important that members be able to cover each other if one of them could not attend a meeting.
We also found that the practices may a bit vary depending on size of team or age of team especially in time zone differences or technology challenges, however there are not hugely significant differences between the overall way large and small (more or fewer than 10 members), or mature and young (together more or less than 1 year) teams handle their challenges.
Alluhibi, Asem; Trolese, Alex; Singla, Puniti; Bahrini, Sara; Jahromi, Shabnam R.; and Nickeson, Matt, "Common Practices to Handle Key Challenges in Managing Virtual Teams" (2012). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 495.