Mediating Complexity: Facilitating Relationship Building Across Boundaries in Start-Up Virtual Teams

Mediating Complexity: Facilitating Relationship Building Across Boundaries in Start-Up Virtual Teams

David J. Pauleen (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) and Lalita Rajasingham (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-166-7.ch011
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Abstract

Virtual teams are playing an increasingly important role in organizations. However, virtual teams’ increasing team member interaction beyond traditional organizational boundaries has outpaced our understanding of their interpersonal dynamics and unique communication characteristics. Research shows that the development of interpersonal and group communications between team members is an important factor in effective working relationships; however, little research has been done on the effects of crossing organizational, cultural, and time and distance boundaries on relationship building in virtual teams. This chapter reports on a field study of New Zealand-based virtual team leaders working with boundary spanning virtual teams. From a team leaders’ perspective, boundary-crossing issues (organizational, cultural, language, time and distance) can affect relationship building in many important ways. These effects are explored and the implications for practice and research are also discussed.

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