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Building Effective Virtual Teams

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Building Effective Virtual Teams. Dane M. Partridge, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Management ... Presented to the River Cities Chapter of the American Society ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Building Effective Virtual Teams


1
Building Effective Virtual Teams
  • Dane M. Partridge, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Management
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Presented to the River Cities Chapter of the
    American Society for Training and Development
    (ASTD)
  • February 2002

2
Building Effective Virtual Teams
  • Presentation based on research related to Indiana
    Partnership for Statewide Education Course
    Development Grant
  • Web Based Team Training Module
  • Project Director, Nancy Kovanic, Lead Consultant,
    OPD Group, USI

3
What Is Meant by Term Team?
  • Collection of individuals
  • Interdependent in tasks
  • Share responsibility for outcomes
  • See themselves and are seen by others as intact
    social entity embedded in larger social system(s)
  • Manage relationships across organizational
    boundaries
  • (Cohen and Bailey, 1997)

4
Threshold Work Design Questions
  • Is team necessary to accomplish task?
  • If so, then what type of team?
  • (Kline, 1999)

5
Organizational Context
  • Performance management/reward system
  • Must evolve from individually-based performance
    appraisal process toward focus on team
    development, team member contributions, and
    overall team performance
  • (Yeatts and Hyten, 1998)
  • Reward system must support team-based work design
  • Skill-based, gainsharing
  • Team-based reward systems dont always produce
    intended results (e.g., Levi Strauss)
  • (Orsburn and Moran, 2000)

6
Team Characteristics
  • Goal Clarity and Adoption
  • Helping teams set goals highly effective
    intervention in team building (Kline, 1999).
  •  Role Clarity
  • Role conflict (for example, being a member of
    multiple teams), ambiguity (establish clear
    expectations as to what each member must do by
    when).
  •  Team Efficacy
  • Teams belief in itself to accomplish work. Can
    be increased by identifying team members
    capabilities, identifying ways to better achieve
    goals, aligning team goals with organizational
    goals (Kline, 1999).

7
Member Dispositions (Individual Characteristics)
  • Members do not necessarily have to like one
    another to work well together.
  • Kline (1999)
  • Team-Player Ability
  • Degree to which individuals positively
    predisposed to working on team.
  •  Cooperativeness
  • Positively related to attitudes and performance
    of project teams
  • (Cohen and Bailey, 1997).

8
Member Dispositions
  • Team-Player Style
  • Contributor (task-oriented, setting goals,
    priorities, solving problems)
  • Collaborator (goal-oriented)
  • Communicator (team process)
  • Challenger
  • Kline (1999)

9
Work Process Effectiveness (Decision Making)
  • Is team right size?
  • Social loafing
  • (Yeatts and Hyten, 1998)
  • Does team have necessary interpersonal
    communication skills?
  • Does team have necessary task-relevant skills?
  • Is there allowance for diversity of opinion?
  • Team norms impact participation, communication,
    conflict management, meeting management, problem
    solving, and decision making
  • (Duarte and Snyder, 1999).

10
Work Process Effectiveness (Decision Making)
  • Does team assess alternatives before
    accomplishing work?
  • Are there understood performance norms?
  • Does team assess work progress before completion
    (goal accomplishment)?
  • Does team allow for modifications in process if
    alternative suggested?

11
Holding Effective Meetings
  • Technical advances such as groupware can assist
    teams in meeting without having to get together
    in person.
  • Increased use _at_USI of Blackboard (e-learning
    software platform)
  • Mngt 305, Management of Organizational Behavior,
    virtual team projects

12
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Importance of trust
  • People tend to trust others who perform
    competently, act with integrity, and display
    concern for the well-being of others
  • (Duarte and Snyder, 1999, p. 140).
  • Important to have members who have high
    propensity to trust
  • (Jarvenpaa et al., 1998).

13
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Team Building
  • Engage in team building activities as virtual
    team is initially created so as to develop sense
    of trust, cohesiveness, awareness of each others
    differences
  • (Kayworth and Leidner, 2000)
  • Virtual ice-breaker. First impressions
    especially important in VTs
  • (Cascio, 2000)
  • May be cultural bias to common team-building
    activities (e.g., sharing personal information,
    discussing results of personality inventories,
    competitive games). Uncomfortable for those from
    collective cultures?
  • (Duarte and Snyder, 1999).

14
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Trust negatively impacted by
  • lack of social introduction
  • lack of enthusiasm
  • unequally distributed communication
  • shallow ideas
  • lack of task focus
  • lack of individual initiative
  • little feedback
  • (Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1999)

15
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Trust positively impacted by
  • early social exchanges
  • predictable communication pattern
  • strong individual initiative (and initiative from
    multiple members)
  • substantive feedback (responses to initiatives
    may be even more important than initiatives
    themselves)
  • (Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1999)
  • Timely follow-through on commitments important to
    establishing perceived competence
  • (Duarte and Snyder, 1999)

16
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Computer-mediated communication may alleviate
    cross-cultural communication issues
  • lack of nonverbal cues eliminates evidence of
    cultural differences
  • asynchronous mode may reduce language errors
  • (Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1999)
  • However, computer-mediated communication can
    negatively impact perceived concern for others,
    given that evidence indicates computer-mediated
    groups communicate more negative messages than
    face-to-face groups do
  • (Duarte and Snyder, 1999, p. 154)

17
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Virtual Collaboration Behaviors
  • Ability to exchange ideas without criticism
  • Develop working document in which various
    members ideas are summarized
  • Exchange working document among members for
    editing
  • Track comments in working document with initials
  • Agree on activities
  • Meet deadlines
  • (Knoll and Jarvenpaa, 1998).

18
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Virtual Socialization Behaviors process norms?
  • Ability to communicate with other members
    immediately
  • Solicit feedback on process team is using to
    accomplish tasks
  • Express appreciation for ideas and completed
    tasks
  • Apologize for mistakes
  • Volunteer for roles
  • Acknowledge role assignments
  • (Knoll and Jarvenpaa, 1998)
  • Initiative, results orientation, and integrity
    highly important
  • (Jarvenpaa et al., 1998).

19
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Virtual Communication Behaviors
  • Given inherent lack of rich face-to-face
    communication, groups must attempt to communicate
    frequently and consistently with constant
    feedback from team leaders. Setting specific
    agendas for discussion may be helpful.
  • (Kayworth and Leidner, 2000)
  • Ability to rephrase unclear sentences to achieve
    clarity, use e-mail typography to convey emotion.
  • (Knoll and Jarvenpaa, 1998)

20
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Perceived integrity of members
  • Integrity of co-workers is evaluated on basis of
    reputation, in the event actual performance
    cannot be consistently observed.
  • Positive reputation is function of consistent
    actions, fulfilled promises, consideration of
    others schedules, and prompt responses to
    phone-mail and e-mail.
  • Persons working in teams, especially virtual
    teams, must be attentive to way in which they are
    perceived by others.
  • (Kezsbom, 1999).
  • Is this virtual EQ?

21
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Self-limiting Behaviors
  • Based on literature on teams in general.
  • Includes
  • presence of someone with perceived/proclaimed?
    expertise
  • presentation of compelling argument
  • lack of confidence in ones ability to contribute
  • pressures to conform to teams decision how is
    virtual groupthink expressed?
  • Process observations from Mngt 305 students
  • dysfunctional decision-making climate
  • (Cascio, 2000).
  • Re OD virtual process consultation?

22
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Matching technology with task
  • Technology synchronous and asynchronous.
  • Tasks generating ideas and plans, solving
    routine problems, solving complex problems,
    negotiating conflicts.
  • Technology also impacts personal connection,
    information richness, and historical record of
    interactions.
  • E-mail most useful for generating ideas and
    plans, and collecting data useful for routine
    problems least useful for complex problems and
    negotiations.
  • Face-to-face best for negotiations.
  • (Duarte and Snyder, 1999)

23
Effective Virtual Teams
  • Determinants of Outcomes Satisfaction
  • Some evidence that women more satisfied with VT
    experience than men.
  • Possibly due to nature of computer-mediated
    communication lack of nonverbal cues and
    structure allowed for more equal group
    participation.
  • (Lind, 1999)
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