Basically I am only asking for you to answer 4 questions but have given you plenty of supporting information to do this. So just because there is a lot of information listed here doesn't mean the assignment warrants you to overbid on it!
following case study reinforces the theory on work teams and groups. Read the case carefully and respond to the
questions for discussion. In your response you must number and type
each question and then provide your answer. Use the essay method rather
than the report method. Your response must provide rationale for your
answer and should demonstrate an understanding of the work teams and groups. MUST BE CITED BOTH INTEXT AND REFERENCE PAGE, WRITTEN TIMES ROMAN, 12 PT FONT, APA
CASE STUDY: WORK TEAMS AND GROUPS
Achieving Success in Virtual Teams
the power of virtual worlds is now a necessity as industry penetrates
every comer of our planet and workers are required to be in touch with
teammates on the next block and on distant continents at any time. In
most companies, participating in virtual teams is no longer an exotic exercise, but a bottom-line requirement.”
“Often widely separated geographically and located in distant time zones, virtual teams
are frequently composed of members from different cultures who work in
different organizations with unfamiliar standards and models of
behavior.” Members of virtual teams most likely have never met each other in person.
a company that provides consulting services for networked
organizations, maintains that the secret to successful virtual teams is
10 percent technology and 90 percent people.
Likewise the failure of virtual teams is largely due to people. The
substantial role of people in the success of virtual teams prompts the
question: What are some human factors that contribute to the success
of virtual teams, and what are some human factors that contribute to the
failure of virtual teams?
teams require interdependent work relationships. “Interdependent work
teams share common goals and responsibilities; at the same time, the
team members are self-reliant and self-motivated.” Effective virtual collaboration requires an understanding of people, cultures, and organizations.
Employees who can tolerate or even relish ambiguity in their job
responsibilities tend to function well in virtual teams, whereas
employees “who like regimented schedules and concrete instructions on
how to do their jobs won’t perform as well in virtual work settings.”
very key human factors that determine the success or failure of virtual
teams are communication effectiveness and stimulating work.
it comes to communications in virtual team settings, ambiguity
increases the chances of failure and clarity of communication
contributes to success. “Employees must write well to draft
easy-to-understand and to-the-point communications. Ambiguity can be a
detriment because the way virtual workers write and comprehend written
communications can alter meaning and generate unneeded tension among
team members and managers.” As Joseph Grenny, writing in Leadership Excellence, observes: “The challenge [that] virtual teams
face is productively brainstorming ideas, solving problems, and
executing on projects with people whose physical location ¾ not to
mention specialty, and in some cases, culture ¾ makes it difficult to
freely and clearly speak one’s mind.”
Reporting in The Wall Street Journal,
Lynda Gratton observes that the work of virtual teams is frequently
unsupervised and consequently team members’ tasks should be challenging
and stimulating. Otherwise, disinterest could cause the virtual team to
When team members do not experience the work as stimulating and
challenging, “[t]hey simply fade away, with fewer and fewer dialing into
the weekly conference calls or posting ideas on the shared site. It’s
not that the members don’t like one another. It’s simply that the
atmosphere becomes more like a country club than a dynamic collection of
is one company that has taken the issues of communication effectiveness
and stimulating work to heart in working toward making its virtual
teams as effective as possible.
With a very significant global footprint of manufacturing in 19
countries and sales in 180 countries, and 120,000 employees with half of
those being information workers, the Volvo Information Technology (VIT)
unit seeks to support team effectiveness around the world.
The mission for improving the effectiveness of the company’s virtual
teams is to “assist teams with establishing effective ways of
communicating and collaborating to reach business objectives.”
evaluates the effectiveness of its virtual teams with a variety of
metrics in four major categories that can be framed in the form of the
following four questions: “How aligned is the team’s understanding of
goals, actions, and expected results? How familiar is the team with
roles and responsibilities? How comfortable is the team with
communicating internally? How clear are project timelines and
peak performance, Volvo’s virtual teams would be judged as having
attained “shared accountability [and] shared leadership for achieving
Attaining this level of virtual team performance is possible only by
having interesting work for the team members to do and effective
communications among them.
the attributes that contribute to the success of virtual teams and
those that contribute to the failure of virtual teams.
- Explain how cultural diversity can affect the functioning of virtual teams operating in a global economy.
- Explain how group behavior can be different for virtual teams.
Volvo’s approach to evaluating the effectiveness of its virtual teams
one that could serve as a useful model for other organizations to follow
in evaluating their own virtual organizations? Justify your answer.
case was written by Michael K. McCuddy, The Louis S. and Mary L. Morgal
Chair of Christian Business Ethics and Professor of Management, College
of Business Administration, Valparaiso University.
sources for the directly quoted material cited in this case have been
intentionally omitted to ensure original work!