Virtual Teams

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I have worked in virtual teams at my place of work and in class. In both teams, I was the leader and had the responsibility of ensuring that members complete any task assigned or meet their goals. I learned that communication technology helps to build and maintain trust in the team. As a leader, it is vital to know how to maintain a regular flow of information on different platforms (Malhotra, Majchrzak & Rosen. 2007). Besides, I succeeded in managing the teams through meetings and work cycles. As noted by Malhotra et al. (2007), virtual meetings need to have a precise agenda focusing mainly on creativity to keep members attentive for a long span. Therefore, I had to devise strategies for ensuring each topic discussed added value to the rest of the team.

I have experienced some challenges when leading the virtual teams for instance, it was difficult to establish a stable virtual presence on online platforms. Most of the members forgot quickly the people they work or share with the same class, unlike in face to face interactions. According to Nunamaker, Reinig & Briggs (2009), strategies for maintaining a long virtual presence including making a roster that shows members present online. Another problem is cultural differences which hinder interaction among the team members. Members are located in different places with unique beliefs and languages. As a leader, it becomes impossible to coordinate any discussion with those who do not understand English, unless a translator is available. Technology also hindered the progress of the virtual team. Barnwell et al. (2014) state that it is difficult to connect with individuals in remote regions where internet connectivity is poor. This obstacle delayed the group from completing its projects on time.

Several practices are effective in establishing successful virtual/global teams. First, leaders should establish proper communication channels (Barnwell et al., 2014). Since it is not easy to have face to face meetings, electronic methods become useful in sharing information. As a leader, Barnwell et al. (2014) recommend that it is important to be culturally sensitive, identify a common language and respond timely to the needs of members. Second, teams should have support from sponsors at the formation stage. The close relationship among the members will help to minimize conflicts, hence preventing the possible disintegration of the group (Furst et al., 2004). Third, at the norming stage, team leaders should identify electronic systems that can support decision making (Furst et al., 2004). Leaders should offer adequate resources and time to ensure members work together to meet their targets. For this class, I will implement these practices by identifying technologies that would ensure close working among the team members, for example, Facebook and WhatsApp. I will also maintain constant communication to keep members informed on the current projects. Then, I will establish specific goals and assign individuals tasks based on their specialties. Finally, I will consult regularly and involve team members in making decisions.

Privacy has an important role when working in virtual teams. The first practice in enhancing privacy is limiting personal information revealed to other team members. For instance, details about the family, employment, and health status should be minimal or not revealed at all. The second practice is for the team to establish a policy that regulates information shared among members. Through a confidentiality policy, it will be possible to protect information of other workmates.


Barnwell, D., Nedrick, S., Rudolph, E., Sesay, M., & Wellen, W. (2014). Leadership of international and virtual project teams. International Journal of Global Business, 7(2), 1.

Furst, S. A., Reeves, M., Rosen, B., & Blackburn, R. S. (2004). Managing the life cycle of virtual teams. The Academy of Management Executive, 18(2), 6-20.

Malhotra, A., Majchrzak, A., & Rosen, B. (2007). Leading virtual teams. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(1), 60-70.

Nunamaker Jr, J. F., Reinig, B. A., & Briggs, R. O. (2009). Principles for effective virtual teamwork. Communications of the ACM, 52(4), 113-117.

January 19, 2024

Business Economics

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