Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Janie Parker
Last updated: September 22, 2019
The purpose of the case assignment is to reflect on how a virtualteam best addresses the balance between togetherness and apartness. The case assignment will also investigatebest practice of a virtual team and how to best manage this group and itsdesign. My case assignment will look at viable options of design andleadership. The case assignment willalso examine how your team complexity affects the design and leadership.
Thiscase assignment will also include an assessment regarding the effectiveness of virtualteams as it relates to the research and learnings from this module. Change starts withchange and one of the things that is increasingly changing are the virtualteam. The virtual team creation has pickedup dramatically globally. In fact, trends are showing that you will likely seeincreased virtual settings driving more virtual teams. Remote working has showed healthy growth withan 80% increase in telecommuting employees from 2005 to 2012 (Scout, 2017). Basedon those statistics, it’s safe to assume that virtual teams are here to stayand figuring out the best way to work in them sooner than later would bebeneficial.
Research concludesthat there are numerous work designs that can be used for virtual teams in thevirtual environment. But, the wheel,modular, and the iterative approach seem to be the most popular and are mostcommon (Wiley, 2004). First, the wheel approach is a classic type of communicationapproach and normally has one key person who communicates to all team members. Thisapproach can also inhibit communication since there is no direct communication betweenany of the lower level members. In this setting, members are operate thru twodifferent tiers also called the high status member (leader/supervisor) and thelower-level members or assistants (Wiley, 2004). The modular approach is also acommon approach and probably the easiest to grasp. The team members normally organize to putforth expectations and needs as the standard. Then they meet at different intervals for updated statuses and decidewhich additional work is required amongst the members (Wiley, 2004).
The iterative approach is also a common wayto engage with the team and go back and forth through the developmentphases. The iterative approach issimilar modular approach by meeting at different times to discuss theirprogress. Email technology allowed team members to throw out their ideas in amore or less random fashion (Wiley, 2004). Knowing these three most commonapproach styles helps decide the appropriate style based on the leadershipgroup that is involved.
It also helps with maintaining an effective virtualteam in regards to balancing “togetherness and apartness” There are times whenyour virtual team should be together and there are times when it is appropriateto be separated. The key is to know whento balance the two because it is crucial in order to the effectiveness of yourvirtual team. Research shows that virtual teams seem to rely heavily on themodular work design approach but balance of when they were together and whenthey were apart varied (Wiley, 2004). What seems to effect that balance can be the complexity of the team’sgoal and the bond of shared values the members of the team share. The key issetting parameters for the team and selecting the right leader for the team. There are also six rules to assist withbetter communication for virtual teams. There six rules thatare believed that if applied can work effectively on any project in person orin the virtual environment. The first and most important rule is to build trustand grow trust thru clear expectation.
Inother words, in order for people to work effectively virtually, there has to betrust just as there would in other environments. The second rule is to manageresults and not just busy work. Just because there is activity it doesn’t meanthat it’s effective. The third rule is to schedule regular communication forboth progress and potential pitfalls to get the team on track. The fourth rule is to create communicationthat saves time. Don’t bog downeffectiveness with excessive emails or instant messages that can distract themission of what you’re trying to accomplish. The fifth rule is to createstandards that build a cohesive culture that ensures participation.
In otherwords, what are the levels of excellence and what do you expect from the team?The final rule is to establish rules of acceptable responsiveness. What may bea timely response to some may not be acceptable to all. When people are workingremotely, it’s important that you define what your rules of responsiveness arefor your culture. No one likes to be keptwaiting an excessive amount of time to respond when time is of the essence(World, 2017).
Following thesecommunication styles cultivate teams and help make teams better. These sets of rules and practices help tie inoptions for work design and leadership of virtual teams. Let’s remember, theprimary purpose of any leader is to positively influence the team.
Picking theright type of leader can be very tricky but a lot of it should depend on thevirtual team work design selected. Thereare four common types of leadership styles. The permanent leadership structure is associated with centralizeddecision making.
The leader serves tointegrate all work, and high interaction between the leader and members(Perspectives, 2007). Rotating is basically an alternating style where teammembers take leadership roles at different times (Perspectives, 2007). Facilitatoror coordinator is when no individual carries formal authority over thework. The teams are self- managing andare characterized by equal status (Perspectives, 2007).
A leaderless virtualteam is also self-managed and power only resides in area of expertise(Perspectives, 2007). Based on my assessmenton the readings and learnings, the virtual team can be a very effective way tocommunicate and accomplish task or projects just as you would in a setting thatis face to face. The usage of the virtual team is growing globally and theadvantages can be seen immediately. Someof those benefits can be saving time and cost reductions.. All which are very important to mostorganizations. In closing, the purposeof the case assignment was to reflect on how a virtual team best addresses thebalance between togetherness and apartness.
The case assignment will also investigate best practice of a virtualteam and how to best manage this group and its design. My case assignment also lookedat viable options of design and leadership. The case assignment also examined how the team complexity affects thedesign and leadership. Lastly, the case assignment also included an assessmentregarding the effectiveness of virtual teams as it relates to the research andlearnings from this module Works Cited1. How Remote Teams Are Becoming the Future of Work(2017). Retrieved from https://www.helpscout.net/blog/virtual-teams/2.
Mapping out the creative process and work designapproach. Retrieved from https://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/46/07879711/0787971146.pdf3. Malhotra, A.,Majchrzak, A., and Rosen, B.
(2007) Leading virtual teams. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(1),60-70.4. ManagingVirtual Teams: Ten Tips (2017). Retrieved from https://www.forbest.com/sites/iese/2013/06/20/managing-virtual-teams-ten-tips/5.
6 rules forbetter communication in virtual teams (2017). Retrieved from https://computerworld.com/article/6-rules-for-better-communication-in-vrtual-teams