Best Practices for Effective Virtual Teams

Best Practices for Effective Virtual Teams

D. Sandy Staples (Queen’s University, Canada), Ian K. Wong (Queen’s University, Canada) and Ann Frances Cameron (Queen’s University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-955-7.ch009
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The use of teams as fundamental building blocks in organizations is growing (Furst, Blackburn & Rosen, 1999), as is the frequency of teams to be distributed geographically (which we call virtual teams). Virtual teams are now being used by many organizations to enhance the productivity of their employees and to reach a diversity of skills and resources (Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps & Lipnack, 2004). Virtual teams are groups of individuals who work on interdependent tasks, who share responsibility for outcomes, and who work together from different locations. While the use of virtual teams is more common in today’s organization, the practices that make virtual teams most effective are not fully understood and challenges remain (Markus, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

PLIB: The ISO13584 standard enables the development of industry-standard dictionaries and libraries of products and components that can be used by manufacturers to publish their product catalogues in an open format.

STEP: The STandard for the Exchange of Product model data is an ISO (International Organization for Standardization)/TC 184 (Technical Committee: Industrial automation systems and integration)/SC4 (Subcommittee: Industrial data) International Standard (IS) officially identified as ISO10303, for the computer-interpretable representation of product information and for the exchange of product data. The objective of STEP is to provide a neutral mechanism capable of describing products throughout their life cycle.

Smart Organizations: Arose from the need for organizations to respond dynamically to the changing landscape of a digital economy. A smart organization is understood to be both internetworked and knowledge-driven and therefore able to adapt to new organizational challenges rapidly and is sufficiently agile to create and exploit knowledge in response to opportunities of the digital age.

Interoperability: According to the IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary, interoperability is “the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.” Enterprise systems and applications need to be interoperable to achieve seamless operational and business interaction and create networked and virtual organizations.

European Information Technology Observatory (EITO): A broad and unique European initiative that publishes the established yearbook for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Europe. It provides the most essential and up-to-date analyses of the Western and Eastern European IT and telecommunications markets, including detailed statistics by country and by market segment.

AP236: The ISO10303 STEP Industrial automation systems and integration (Product data representation and exchange) Part 236, Application protocol: Furniture catalog and interior design.

funStep: A community setup in the late 1990s with the support of the European Commission that, led by UNINOVA and AIDIMA, implements an European research strategy for better interoperability in smart organizations.

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