Training Techniques for Developing Trust in Virtual Teams
Peggy M. Beranek (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA), Ben Martz (Northern Kentucky University, USA) and Monique French (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA)
Copyright: © 2008
Trust among team members is a major factor influencing the cohesiveness of the group, trust also has a direct impact on team performance, problem solving, organizational performance, and organizational communication. Virtual teams are teams in which members are distributed and communicate via computer-mediated communication systems (CMCS). Past research has indicated that the development of trust among team members requires face-to-face communication, thereby making it difficult for virtual teams to develop trust. Recent research has shown that it is possible to train virtual teams to exhibit higher levels of trust. This paper describes and discusses different methods of trust training for virtual teams. We offer a comprehensive comparison of the results and analysis of the training programs of these studies and offer advice on developing and conducting such programs.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Virtual Teams: These are teams that are geographically distributed and communicate via computer-mediated communication systems (CMCS), and many times never or rarely meet face-to-face.
Member Actions: Early Stages- These actions include coping with technical uncertainty, realizing that downtimes occur, taking individual initiative, and establishment of a team leader. Later Stages- Making a successful transition from social to procedural task focus, that is, moving from socializing and getting to know members to getting the job done.
Communication Behaviors: Early Stages-This includes social communication such as introductions and telling other team members a bit about yourself. Later Stages- This includes establishing predictable communication patterns such as how often members will check for messages and respond and making sure members agree to timely and substantial responses.
Passive Training: Training in which users are given the materials to study on their own.
Trust: Trust in teams indicates that team members believe that the group behaves in accordance with their commitments, is honest in negotiations, and members do not take advantage of other group members.
Relational Links: Keys factors indicating feelings of closeness among group members, defined by group members’ attitudes and perceptions such as cohesiveness, perceptions of process, and satisfaction with group outcomes.