Coordination of Virtual Teams: From Trust to Control

Coordination of Virtual Teams: From Trust to Control

Isabelle Parot (Magellan Research Center, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-304-3.ch023
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In this communication, the author attempts to answer the question of coordination in virtual teams (or remote teams). Virtual teams can result from economic choices but they can also be a choice in terms of available resources and need of very specific skills. The coordination is thus intra-organizational. How this coordination takes place? Firstly, this chapter will describe conceptually the process of coordination in situations of remote work, and more precisely, in the case of an intra-organizational coordination in virtual teams. The authors will discuss the debate wither it is trust or control that is needed for the coordination for virtual teams. Secondly, they are going to present empirical findings about virtual teams’ coordination, in high technological firms. Lastly, they are going to illustrate how a number of economic, organizational and cultural factors can impact the coordination process in those virtual teams.
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Evolution Of Organizations

Since the initial work of Daft and Lewin, the question of “new” organizational forms has became a new trend for management literature (Daft and Lewin, 1993). Daft and Lewin give several types of example of new organizational forms such as virtual corporation, cluster organisation, learning organisation and network organisation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Coordination: Synchronization and integration of activities, responsibilities, and command and control structures to ensure that the resources are used most efficiently in pursuit of the specified objectives.

Virtual Team: A virtual team is a team whose members are interacting primarily through electronic communications. Members of a virtual teal may be within the same building or across continents.

Control: Management process in which the (1) actual performance is compared with planned performance, (2) difference between the two is measured, (3) causes contributing to the difference are identified, and (4) corrective action is taken to eliminate or minimize the difference.

Trust: Reliance on another’s words, integrity or discretion in a relationship.

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