Structuring Virtual Teams
Ecler Jaqua* and Terry Jaqua
Trident University International, Business Administration Department, USA
Trident University International, Health Sciences Department, USA
Received Date: 22/11/2021; Published Date: 30/11/2021
*Corresponding author: Ecler Jaqua, department of Business Administration and Trident University International, USA
Cite this article: Ecler Jaqua* and Terry Jaqua. Structuring Virtual Teams.
The primary purpose of the virtual team is to address a specific problem at hand from different locations, which could either be locally, regionally or internationally. It implies that while working from diverse settings, it is vital for leadership to create a favorable environment where every member is afforded the opportunity for showcasing their skills and knowledge while at the same time demonstrating that they can be relied upon for the accomplishment of organizational purposes.
The virtual team is created to share information about their operations to offer a review of the corporate hence ensuring that it continues with its success trajectory while at the same time eliminating the foreseeable challenges. In this regard, the team's togetherness is best described through linear approach, intuitive approach, and finally componential approach.
In the linear approach, the virtual team members accept the cultural diversity enabling the creative process, which involves defining and clarifying the work and solution to the challenge. It implies that the team's togetherness is created by the top-level management who, through induction, introduces the team's objectives and outlines this approach which primarily deals with elaboration of the steps guiding the development of the solution. It illustrates that togetherness is enhanced through three crucial steps: problem finding, fact-finding, and problem defining. On the other hand, the intuitive approach, a significant factor determining the team, is also best described through the intuitive approach, which encourages creativity among the team (Nemiro, 2004) . It is one of the critical stages which holds the team together and can easily break the same. Finally, it implies that the team's togetherness is best described through the ability to recognize each member to contribute to the study discussion without being judged. The access the open communication is an indication that eliminates doubt within the team, thus making each member feel comfortable, which overall facilitates the attainment of the purpose. When virtual team members can communicate without being judged, they experience a sense of belonging and remain committed to organizational aims.
In the same way, the team's creativity is demonstrated through the componential approach, which mainly emphasizes the social psychology of creativity. Accordingly, this is an approach best described through three critical factors comprising a combination of factual knowledge, creativity, and task motivation. Again, and as demonstrated, the team's togetherness is promoted by setting rules, clarifying the purpose, showing respect and trust alongside the ability of effective communication.
In contrast, the apartness of the team is described through the personal differences happening in the context of personal issues, cultural barriers, time zone, and lack of effective leadership. This issue causes the absence of unity of purpose. Each member focuses on their problem whose conflict of interest makes the overall attainment of the virtual team objective incredibly impossible. Accordingly, the cultural barriers are a challenge that requires the virtual team leadership to provide an approach to attaining the primary goal. It could entail looking for a professional translator to break down the communication barriers making the information accessible to all the people. Specifically, given that the team is working from different geographical areas, it is possible to have other working times, making the team unable to stick together and attain its objective within the specified time. It implies that the leadership should create a timetable when all people should increasingly participate in the virtual meeting, thus enabling the group's goals. The team apartness, also best described via lack of effective communication, shows a lack of leadership, thus making the team lack direction on how to execute their objectives. This overall enables negative analysis and communication within the team. Notably, there is no sequence for idea generation, development, finalization, and closure.
The Options for Work Design and Leadership of Virtual Teams
The available options for the work design and leadership in the virtual team comprise the wheel, modular and iterative approaches that guide and shape the team members from the idea generation to development, finalization, and closure. The wheel approach mainly entails the leader communicating what will be accomplished, how, and when to the whole team. The higher status or the manager is the communication through which all the information must pass from the low-level members. Thus, it eliminates the communication gaps and inconsistencies and assures the whole team to have an efficient flow of information. Finally, all the team members propose the ideas to the team leader, who, as a result, ends up making the requisite decision on tabling the various views to the whole team, which discusses the matter extensively, thus enabling the leader to make the right choices.
On the other hand, the modular approach involves the team member's ability to meet together to decide on the task, need, and purpose to be pursued. After agreeing on the goal, the team members divide the amount of work based on expertise. After each member has completed their pie, they consolidate and revise before finalizing the same and the successful implementation. This approach for work design plays an instrumental role that overall facilitates impressive work, which illustrates the ability to continue better and improved outcomes on the assigned tasks by the management.
The iterative approach, on the other hand, contains the use of e-mail. This approach requires adequate time, an open communication system, honesty, work-sharing technology, and increased task interaction alongside the willingness to accept feedback and continue with cooperation (Delice, Rousseau & Feitosa, 2019) . The team members are provided with the tasks which they should accomplish within specific timelines. Therefore, once a team member works on a particular task within a specified time, they share the same with the management from which they are provided with feedback. From this, they work on the areas they have been advised to before submitting the same to the management. Accordingly, this creates a favorable environment that encourages more creativity, improving the work for the whole project. In essence, all this demonstrates that the leadership of a virtual team is instrumental during the work design. Furthermore, this indicates that the leadership creates a supportive environment and culture that makes all the employees feel valued and, at the same time, valid for the accomplishment of the corporate objectives. Accordingly, this signifies that a leader encourages creativity, employs open communication, embraces cultural diversity, and, most of all, offers direction while regulating the behavior among the team.
How Task Requirements and Team Characteristics Affect Work to Design and Leadership
Often, the virtual team works on a project needed to be accomplished within the specified time. From this project, the leader gauges the team members' capability based on the outcome they provide. Arguably, having a hierarchy within the virtual team may significantly alter the team to deliver on its mandate. Furthermore, as severally indicated, the team members are working from different places, and therefore reaching the team leader may be a challenge due to the various time zones. It implies that decision-making becomes impaired, increasingly affecting the ability of the corporate to attain its objectives.
In the same way, some tasks may be challenging for some members, thus requiring rotation which increasingly becomes the onset of bad blood within the team members. Often, the member whose work has been transferred to another individual within the team could have worked on the same for a considerable time. Still, since they cannot complete the same as anticipated, they get transferred to another capable member. This aspect affects the work design and the ability to lead the whole team since they need to accomplish their purposes.
In the same way, the issue of different time zones also affects the ability of the leadership to design the work effectively. Accordingly, when the other members are up, the other member could be asleep. Therefore, the variance of time overall affects the ability to have better and improved performance, thus wasting time and resources alongside inconveniencing the whole team (Davidaviciene, Majzoub & Meidute-Kavaliauskiene, 2020) . In the same way, the team members have different attitudes and approaches towards each other. Therefore, the task at hand, which also considering they are working virtually, becomes impossible to consolidate the objective, thus increasingly facilitating the attainment of the corporate goals. Conversely, given that the team should work based on standardized procedures, following the same virtually can be challenging within the team, illustrating the challenge for the attainment of the group purposes.
Assessment of the Effectiveness of the Structures/Practices Covered by the Readings in this Module for Virtual Teaming.
Given the above task requirements and team characteristics affecting the choices of work design and leadership, it is easily possible to argue that virtual teaming is a flop. Because of the ability to create the physical human relations needed within the team, the communication barrier occasioned by the different time zones, and eventually, personal differences within the team. In contrast, these are challenges found within the virtual team but require effective communication and the establishment of a flat hierarchy of communication where all the members increasingly have access to open communication. Furthermore, it implies that the team first does the induction process, which outlines the expectations of each member while at the same time setting out the rules and regulations which should be followed within the team. Overall, this clearly indicates that once the team gets provided with training and development, they elevate communication and acceptance amongst themselves, thus changing the direction that should be employed. All this signifies the possibility for the continuation of open communication while at the same time increasingly enhancing cultural diversity within the whole team, which promotes a sense of purpose.
In this regard, I am convinced that virtual teaming works out provided there is effective leadership that offers communication, training, and development and, importantly, outlines the steps that should be followed for the team relations while encouraging open communication and subsequent feedback (Malhotra, Majchrzak & Rosen, 2007) . Regarding timeframe, the team leader communicates a specific time that favors everyone but is equal to the team, following the team members. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the reality of virtual teaming proved effective, with also immense literature supporting the view that it is practical. Virtual teaming requires building trust, appreciating diversity, managing the work cycle adequately, and enhancing the visibility of team members. Also, it requires adequate monitoring of the team members, ensuring that each member stands to benefit from the whole group.
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