Exploring Environmental Factors in Virtual Teams

Exploring Environmental Factors in Virtual Teams

Teresa Torres-Coronas (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-885-7.ch075
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Abstract

In today’s competitive business world, global competition forces companies to continually seek ways of improving their products/services. The hypercompetitive business environment has been the catalysts for new organizational forms—the virtual organization and its smaller version the virtual team (Jarvenpaa & Ives, 1994). The advent of new communication technologies has given organizations an opportunity to bring together their distributed workforce. The creation of distributed teams makes possible the incorporation of a wide range of both individual knowledge and expertise into a collective body of knowledge needed to conduct effective group problem-solving activities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Creative Performance: High level of capability in an idea or solution applied to solve a problem in an imaginative way resulting in effective action. Environmental factors such as autonomy and freedom, challenge, clear direction, diversity/flexibility/tension, support for creativity, trust, and participative safety directly affect the creative performance within work teams.

Creativity: Creativity can be defined as the ability to produce something new or as the act of creating recombining ideas or seeing new relationships among them. It is usually defined in terms of either a process or a product and at times has also been defined in terms of a kind of personality or environmental press. These are the four Ps of creativity: process, product, person, and press.

Team Creativity: It is the creation, development, evaluation, and promotion of novel ideas in groups. This can occur informally or in structured teams such as work teams.

Virtual/Distributed Team: A virtual/distributed team is a group of people who are geographically separated and who work across boundaries of space and time by utilizing computer driven technologies such as desktop video conferencing, collaborative software, and Internet/intranet systems. How these teams interact defines them as “virtual.”

Componential Theories: Componential theories are attempts to specify the set of abilities, skills, traits, dispositions, and processes that are involved in creative behavior.

Creativity-Relevant Skills: Domain-relevant skills are attributes such as factual knowledge and skills. These attributes affect an individual’s performance in a given field of knowledge. Creativity- relevant skills include a person’s cognitive style that facilitates coping with complexity and breaking one’s mental set.

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