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The global virtual manager: A prescription for success

journal contribution
posted on 2000-01-01, 00:00 authored by T Kayworth, Dorothy LeidnerDorothy Leidner
Global virtual teams have emerged in response to the growing demands placed upon organizations to rapidly coordinate individuals located in geographically dispersed locations. Virtual teams promise to improve cycle time, reduce travel costs, and reduce redundancies across organizational units. Moreover, the use of global virtual teams provides an opportunity to coordinate complex business tasks across a potentially far-flung confederation of organizations. However, virtual teams are beset with a range of challenges inherent to their dispersed, and often impersonal, nature. While all teamwork involves challenges to be managed, the tools at the disposal of virtual teams limits the options they have for addressing the difficulties of coordination. This field-based research study was undertaken to assess the core issues and challenges faced by a group of twelve culturally diverse global virtual teams with members from Europe, Mexico, and the United States. Our findings suggest that global virtual teams face significant challenges in four areas: communication, culture, technology, and project management (leadership). Drawing from the members' assessments of their virtual team experiences, each area of challenge is discussed in detail. This is followed by a set of managerial prescriptions that outline specific critical success factors useful for the implementation of virtual teams.



European Management Journal






183 - 194



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