The Multi-Faceted Nature of Virtual Teams

The Multi-Faceted Nature of Virtual Teams

Line Dube (HEC Montreal, Canada) and Guy Pare (HEC Montréal, Canada)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 39
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-166-7.ch001
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Despite their growing popularity in organizations, our understanding of virtual teams is still at an embryonic stage. As of today, the term “virtual team” has been loosely defined in the academic press, and empirical findings have been generalized across all types of virtual teams. Based on an extensive review of the literature and a series of in-depth interviews with more than 40 experienced virtual team members and leaders, we identified the key characteristics of virtual teamwork as well as those characteristics that distinguish among various virtual team configurations. We posit that researchers must now adopt a multidimensional view of virtual teams in order to adequately compare empirical findings, build a cumulative tradition in this field of research, and provide practitioners with a framework to help them manage virtual teams effectively. Researchers and practitioners must not only recognize the diversity of possible virtual team arrangements but also identify strategies and draw lessons that are contingent upon particular virtual team configurations.

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