Virtual Teams Advantages And Disadvantages

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Virtual teams are groups of dispersed individuals who rely on communication and information technologies to interact. These teams exist solely because of the technologies that support their interactions. However, they are an interesting organizational form as they allow organizations to connect disparate experts and key employees without the related costs in travel and disruptions to business. Much research has examined the nature of virtual teams, with a major interest in improving virtual team interactions and subsequent performance. Virtual teams are somewhat unique in that the very technologies that support their existence are often the same source of…show more content…
Some advantages of virtual teams include: the ability to assemble teams that maximize functional expertise by including professionals who are geographically dispersed, enabling continuous 24/7 productivity by using different time zones to their advantage, lowering costs by reducing travel, relocation and overhead, and sharing knowledge across geographic boundaries and organizational units and sites. In spite of the advantages of virtual teams, research has demonstrated that virtual teams present a number of challenges compared to co-located teams. Some disadvantages include communication and collaboration difficulties, low levels of media richness compared to co-located teams, potentially lower team engagement by team members, difficulties in creating trust and shared responsibility among team members, isolation, high levels of social distance between members, and challenges in monitoring and managing virtual…show more content…
According to Staples, & Zhao (2006), other challenges suggested that global virtual teams need to deal with such as communication difficulties, decreased cohesion, and high level of conflicts among teams. Indiramma and Anandakumar (2009) were of the opinion that the handling of technological issues such as adaptation and regular use of communication tools as another challenge that faces global virtual teams. Those challenges may pose a threat to the performance of any global virtual teams. However, the problem can be more perceptible in support teams in which troubleshooting customers’ technical problems is inherently complex and challenging (Williamson, Bauer, Steinberg, Mislevy, Behrens and DeMark, 2004); Cavaiani,
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