Influencing Factors of Team Effectiveness in Global Virtual Teams

Influencing Factors of Team Effectiveness in Global Virtual Teams

Buket Celik Ünal
DOI: 10.4018/IJICST.320522
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Virtual teams are gaining importance because they have given organisations and employees the ability to work from anywhere in the world without relocating them. The ability to work remotely and collaborate virtually has allowed organisations to expand their reach and tap into a global talent pool. Additionally, COVID-19 has resulted in seeking alternative work arrangements, including the information technology (IT) industry. However, virtual teams also have challenges that can affect team efficiency and effectiveness. Factors such as knowledge sharing, trust, language and cultural differences, distance, and time zone differences can all impact virtual team performance. This research describes several important factors that affect global virtual team efficiency, especially in IT projects, and underlying solutions are addressed to reduce the barriers. By understanding the challenges and implementing effective solutions, organisations can leverage the benefits of virtual teams.
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Definition Of Team And Virtual Team

A team is a group of people who are focusing to achieve a defined goal. Team members collaborate with a high degree of interdependence, share responsibility for self-management, and work toward a common goal (Jain, 2009). A virtual team is a group of people who work with a shared purpose across space, time, and organizational boundaries using technology to collaborate. Virtual team members can be located across a country from different cultures and they rarely meet face-to-face (Kimble et al., 2000). Virtual teams have several unique characteristics which are mainly, 1) physically distributed members, 2) communication through a number of synchronous and asynchronous methods. There are different researches in the literature and according to Duarte and Snyder (2006), it is easy to characterize virtual teams as traditional teams. However, virtual teams are more complex as they have time differences, distance, different organizational structures and they use information technology to communicate and collaborate (Rosa, 2013). Although virtual teamwork is a current topic in literature it is difficult to define the complexities and clear solutions. The team is described as a small number of people with different backgrounds who are committed to achieving a common goal. Virtual teams work across boundaries of time, space by using computer-driven technologies (Chudoba et al., 2005 and Anderson et al., 2007). Virtual teams included members who are located in different physical locations. They use different forms of computer-mediated communication to coordinate (Peters and Manz, 2008). Amongst the different definitions of a virtual team, the concept from Powell et al. (2004) is the most widely accepted definition. They define virtual teams as groups of geographically, organizationally and time dispersed workers to achieve the organizational tasks. Consequently, a summary of the definition of a virtual team can be defined as, a group of geographically, and time dispersed workers collaborating with computer-mediated communication technologies in order to achieve the common goal for organizations.

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