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Advancement in Technology and Infrastructure

Essay by   •  November 5, 2018  •  Case Study  •  1,797 Words (8 Pages)  •  954 Views

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Table of Contents

No.

Content

Page

1

Executive Summary

2

2

Introduction

2

3

Key Arguments of Authors

3

4

Differences in Key Arguments

4-5

5

Recommendation

5

6

Conclusion

6

7

References

7


Executive Summary

Nowadays modern organizations are becoming more digitalized and connected. Due to advancement in technology and infrastructure at a very fast pace organizations are changing rapidly as well. With the changing business environment and global competition and global driven demand Global Virtual teams have become a necessity for every organization and seen as way to handle this challenge by many organizations. It has provided organizations with flexibility, increased collaboration and more cost savings. Due to the importance of this it has been highly researched in the last decade and this paper aims to highlight some factors which play a huge rule in building a successful virtual team.

Introduction

We live in a world now where evolving web based technologies, advancement in communication technologies, globalization, work and cultural diversity have enabled organizations to become global and respond more dynamically to hyper changing competitive environment. Gone are the days of having to work at a place meant where your co-workers worked as well. Not anymore, as organizations tend to be less rigid in structure, it has given rise to formation of work, project and virtual teams and with organizations reaching global audiences this has also led to the formation of phenomenon such as Global Virtual teams (GVT).

Keith Ferrazzi (2014) in his article described virtual teams as being “geographically dispersed” (Ferrazzi, 2014). Keith has identified that flexibility, integration of team members around the world and both low cost in acquiring international talent without increase in structural cost are main factors influencing this emerging trend of GVTs. Jimenez, Boehe, Taras & Caprar (2017) in their article have defined Global Virtual teams as teams which are globally dispersed across spatial and temporal boundaries and communicate through virtual channels such as video calls, teleconferencing.

This report will comment on keys arguments from both authors by using examples from the articles. It will also evaluate and on providing explanations for differences in the arguments from both authors and provide recommendations.


Key Arguments of Authors

Ferrazzi (2014) in his article focuses on four must have factors to consider if organizations need to overcome the challenges from virtual collaboration. They have highlighted on assembling the “right team” people with the right set of skills and common qualities. Assigning these members “right roles” and dividing them in to appropriate sub teams according to their specialised expertise. Limiting the team size to a minimum of 10 will be effective and will avoid “Social Loafing” (Ferrazzi, 2014).  The “right leadership” plays a pivotal part in every successful virtual team. Team leaders should encourage fostering trust and open dialogue between team members by encouraging teams to share experiences and through constructive criticism. The right leadership is also important in setting specific guidelines and objectives the team is meant to achieve.

Ferrazzi (2014) emphasises the need to have the right touch points. Meetings should not only be at “kick off” and “on boarding” but also at regular frequency and milestones. But none of the above is possible unless the right technology is used. Technology used should be multi platform to allow for calls, text and video conferencing and also ensuring that all members are using the same medium of technology to communicate.

Jimenez, Boehe, Taras & Caprar (2017) in their article have used existing research into GVT’s to explore on opportunities and challenges for GVT’s and focus on structuring a framework for understanding GVT complexities.

They have highlighted on cost and time saving opportunities arising from GVT’s where team can comprise of talents around the world and task between team members being relayed to other team members depending on the working hours in that location can speed up completion time of a project. Also diversity in team is another advantage of GVT’s. Diversity can assist in problem solving and creativity by using diverse information from other members of the team. Diversity can also kill “homogeneity” and “group thinking” in the team (Jimenez, Boehe, Taras & Caprar, 2017). GVT’s can also enhance the overall experience of the team members by challenging them to complete new tasks and have independence at work which increases their overall satisfaction and motivation.

They have also suggested         challenges for GVT’s, “Time zone dispersion” being the most apparent issue across all GVT’s. This is the biggest issue surrounding the GVT’s because members can be from different time zones and this can affect their normal work life routine. Native language is also identified as one of the other big challenges surrounding GVT’s. Fluency and proficiency in one common work language is very hard to achieve in teams from different demographic regions. Diversity and social identity is also a huge challenge for GVT’s because members have their own subjective perceptions due to diverse backgrounds and would most likely associate themselves in similar to them.

Differences in Arguments

Ferrazzi (2014) and Jimenez, Boehe, Taras & Caprar, 2017 have both provided their analysis on how a GVT can succeed but and factors which influence their success. Despite having some minor similarities, the differences between their articles are profound.

The differences from both articles have been compared below in a table.

Authors/Topic of difference

Keith Ferrazzi (2014) 

Jimenez, Boehe, Taras & Caprar, 2017

Team

Focuses on including members who have common skills.  Focuses on screening test such as “Myer-Briggs” tests to screen behavioural qualities and weaknesses. This will lead to homogeneity in team.

Should be more diverse. Diversity Induces constructive conflict and criticism which improves performance, similarity can prevent learning by protecting status quo.

Social Loafing

Ferrazzi (2014) have asserted that social loafing is caused by the size of the team according their study of different virtual teams. Any more than 13 members in a team can cause this effect to kick in. Small teams are better to reduce the effect of social loafing.

Risk of social loafing has been directly linked with socializing. The more separated GVT members are the less likely they are to socialize thus weakening the “social cohesion forces” and minimizing social loafing.  

Sub Group & Sub Teams

Dividing teams in to small cross function teams as advocated in “X-team Strategy” by Deborah Ancona is beneficial for small term success and for brain storming.

Dividing teams in to small groups often presents a risk of “fault-lines”. Where team members can associate more closely to other team members due to shared characteristics. (Tannenbaum (Groupoe.com, 2018) .This is similar to Social identity theory (Tajfel, 1974) where people identify themselves as members of certain groups and only show loyalty to that group. This can cause group division and risk of sub group rivalry.

Trust

Trust can be achieved by encouraging communication and by sharing professional and personal experiences between team members through video or tele- conferencing. Example of Tony Hsieh and Jenn Lim virtual company where they practice video tours of members work places allowing other members to form an image in their mind when the communicate in future.

Non verbal communication fosters trust that is only present in face to face communication. This is generally though non verbal interactions such as body language, gestures etc. Also subjective perceptions and diversity plays a big role with trust between team members which is generally not communicated through virtual technology.

Technology

Ferrazzi (2014) focuses in his article use of integrated technology platform to assist in better team communication. Also live or real time communication is vital for the team conversation especially which is separated remotely.

Reliance on non-verbal communication tools such as emails, text based and no audio video tools can cause biases and prejudice among team members. Live communication can resolve some of the issues caused due to language proficiency but it can also cause misinterpretation.

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