Factors Impacting Effectiveness in Virtual Teams

Factors Impacting Effectiveness in Virtual Teams

Swati Kaul Bhat (Jaypee Business School, Noida, India), Neerja Pande (IIML, Noida, India) and Vandana Ahuja (Jaypee Business School, Noida, India)
DOI: 10.4018/ijvcsn.2014070103


Advancement and progression are the key constituents of the success in global business. Virtual team and its members are now the virtue of the organizations that work across the countries. There is no doubt that virtual team's give a competitive advantage to the organization but simultaneously faces challenge in its working. Working in virtual team becomes complex as its members have language difficulties, time -and -distance challenges, absence of face-to-face contact, and cultural differences. The important factor that has been emerged and examined in the preceding studies which builds a virtual team is trust. Only depending on emails and telephones doesn't merely build the trust, especially when members are far apart and belong to totally different culture. Even though a large repository of literature is available on virtual teams and trust but still many of the questions are still left unanswered. The paper focus on identifying the factors those are important for the functioning of the virtual team. A set of 45 questions from the available literature were prepared and responses on likert scale are collected, analysed and summarized in the paper.
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Virtual teams are becoming more evident in organizations, leading to a strong impact on the traditional working styles. Virtual teams have now become an ever-growing component of a complete business. It is the level of trust amongst the individuals which supports the associations in the virtual team. This progression in the virtual teams has been marked in organization all around the globe. Working through geographically distant location has now become the trend in the modern workplace because it not only saves on costs but also adds on the efficiency in the task. It is the consequence of these dynamics in teams which makes trust building a challenging job and the future of such team is at stake. It is the arrangement and structure of virtual teams, for example working on single specific task, short duration tenure and geographic distance that create hindrance in the success of virtual team building. It is found in many of the researches that managing conflicts, making decisions, and optimum use of resources are more challenging in virtual team than in face-to-face working team. Building trust is challenging in traditional set up, but it becomes more difficult when it comes to the virtual environment, where members usually work with each other they haven’t met personally. So they will not be able to accomplish the task well if co-workers don’t trust each other. These also include not realizing the verbal clues, non-appreciation of ideas, not able to comprehend with the vision of the team and finally not able to match up to the level of technology being used. All these aspects create a sense of isolation in members of team. For establishing an effective virtual team efforts from both organization and individuals are required. As the team develops, members themselves can also do quite a bit to build trust. As the team members are able to depend on each other trust develops quickly. Every member in the team must be the capable to play a prominent role when asked to, which in turn can demonstrate that they can be fair and reliable even. Good channel of communication amongst team members, effectively managing the differences in time zones, cultures, languages, easy access to technology as well as creating and maintaining trust have marked as essential for virtual team success.

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