Overall, do you think virtual teams will perform better or worse than traditional teams? Explain your answer with references to the background readings.

Groups and Teams

Assignment Overview

A rapidly growing trend in the business world is the growth of virtual teams.  Some companies are allowing teleworking, which means that more and more workers have to coordinate their activities with other team members through the phone or internet.  Even among workers who are working from their office, more and more companies are having employees work in teams with employees who work at other locations who they may or may not have ever met in person.  New technologies have been developed to help facilitate virtual teamwork, but challenges still remain.

Review the background materials and also do some research on virtual teams.  Here are a few articles on virtual teams to get you started:

Garfoot, A. (May 2003). The reality of virtual teams. IT Training, 32-34. [ProQuest]

Sadri, G., & Condia, J. (2012). Managing the virtual world. Industrial Management, 54(1), 21-25. [ProQuest]

Rigby, R. (2013). How best to manage a virtual team. The Financial Times [ProQuest]

Case Assignment

When you are finished with your research, integrate what you learned in general about group dynamics in the background materials with more specific information you learned about virtual teams.  Write a four to five page paper addressing the following issues:

  1. How do you think the five stages of group development  (forming, storming, norming, performing, adjourning) will be different for virtual teams as compared to traditional teams?  Discuss in regard to all five stages of group development as covered in Nair (2010) and Aswathappa (2010).
  2. Do you think virtual teams will be more or less cohesive than traditional teams?  Include a discussion of the issue of groupthink in your discussion, and use Nair (2010) and Aswathappa (2010) as your guide to the concepts of group cohesiveness and groupthink.
  3. Overall, do you think virtual teams will perform better or worse than traditional teams?  Explain your answer with references to the background readings.

Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials
  • Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred.  If you find articles on the internet, make sure it is from a credible source.
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