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The basic interpersonal communication model is composed by the communicator, message, receiver and feedback. The perceptual screen is a window through which we interact with people that influences the quality, accuracy, and clarity of the communication.
In the communication process the listening is also important; one type of listening is the “Reflexive Listening” that is the skill of listening carefully to another person and repeating back to the speaker the heard message to correct any inaccuracies or misunderstandings.
Other type of listening is the “Reflective Listening” that has four levels of verbal response which are: reflective core feelings, clarify the implicit, paraphrase the expressed and affirm contact.
The communication can be in one way (not feedback) or two way (interactive). People can communicate not only by words, but also by non verbal signs, one of them are: proxemics, kinesics, facial and eye behavior; and paralanguage.
In the process of communication we can find some barriers such as: physical separation, status differences, gender differences, cultural diversity and language.
Virtual Teams are are groups of geographically, organizationally and time dispersed workers brought together by information technologies to accomplish one or more organization tasks’’ (Powell et al., 2004).
Virtual teams represent one such organizational form, one that could revolutionize the workplace and provide organizations with unprecedented level of flexibility and responsiveness (Powell et al., 2004). Virtual teams are usually viewed as opposites.
As a drawback, virtual teams are particularly vulnerable to mistrust, communication break downs, conflicts, and power struggles (Rosen et al., 2007).
The dimensions of effective virtual teams are:
· Role clarity
· Leadership attitude
· Well- planned monitoring mechanisms
Accroding to Kuruppuarachchi (2009), what benefits and problems arise as a consequence of the creation of virtual team? Identify five each. Based on this, explain how to make the transition from a more traditional team structure to the more distributed team structure?
Some benefits of the creation of virtual teams are:
1. More flexibility on working hours for employees
2. Creation of opportunities for employees in remote offices
3. Flexibility in resource allocations and work scheduling
4. Speed up product development and project management
5. Enhanced information dissemination and knowledge sharing within the organization
There are also some drawbacks such as:
1. Quality control is difficult
2. Additional cost for setting up remote offices
3. Resistance to unstructured nature of teams
4. Too many members are possible on a team
5. Some members may not be psychologically fit for virtual teams
A transition from a more traditional team structure to the more distributed team structure can be done by the development of trust, clear communication, strong leadership and appropriate level of technology. Members have to be more dynamics, people from different cultural backgrounds need to be included into teams, it is also important to create reciprocal commitment in order to have a good relationship between them.
- Ebrahim, N., Ahmed, S., & Taha, Z. (2009) Virtual Teams: a Literature Review. Australian Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 3(3), 2653-2669. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.eafit.edu.co/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&hid=110&sid=69f6751e-704f-4478-98c7-9fac6d0394c8%40sessionmgr113
- Kuruppuarachchi, P. R. (2009). Virtual team concepts in projects: A case studyBlackwell Publishing Ltd. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218750033?accountid=45662
- Nelson, D and Quick, J.C. (2009) Organizational culture. In OrganisationalBehavour: Science, the real world and you.
- Powell, A ., G. Piccoliand B. Ives (2004) Virtual teams : a review of current literature and directions for future research. The Data base for Advances in Information Systems , 35: 6-36.
- Rosen, B., S. Furstand R. Blackburn (2007) Overcoming Barriers t o Knowledge Sharing in Virtual Teams. Organizacional Dynamics , 36: 259-273.
- Shachaf, P. and N. Hara (2005) Team Effectiveness in Virtual Environments : An Ecological Approach. INFERRIS, P.A.G., S., (Ed.) Teaching and Learning with Virtual Teams. Idea Group Publishing.