How to Create an Effective Virtual Team
by LAUREN OAKLEY
Master of Science in Information Communications & Technology
University of Denver, August 2017
A virtual team is one which team members are separated physically or geographically, and carry out daily processes, communication, and collaboration over technology. In today’s workforce, the popularity of companies expanding their reach and gaining a competitive advantage through virtual teams is skyrocketing. Interestingly enough, research shows that virtual teams are on the rise, but the success rate is not. In this paper, research, case studies, expert opinions, and academic literature are presented to support how virtual teams can be successful and effective. Recommendations will be provided on how to create an effective virtual team based on strategies from companies that have had success and how they overcame the barriers along the way.
The definition of a virtual team varies depending upon the industry in which it’s applied. Powell et. al defines a virtual team as, “groups dispersed by geography, organizationally, and time who are brought together by information and telecommunication technologies to accomplish one or more organizational tasks.” According to Ale Ebrahim et. al, virtual teams are, “small temporary groups of geographically, organizationally or time dispersed knowledge workers who coordinate their work predominantly with electronic information and communication technologies to accomplish one or more organization tasks.”