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Building High Performance Virtual Teams: Lessons Learned from MERLOT’s Business Discipline Editorial Board. Cathy Owens Swift Georgia Southern University Ronald E. Purser San Francisco State University Maureen Hannay Troy University. Virtual Teams .

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Building High Performance Virtual Teams: Lessons Learned from MERLOT’sBusiness Discipline Editorial Board

Cathy Owens Swift

Georgia Southern University

Ronald E. Purser

San Francisco State University

Maureen Hannay

Troy University


Virtual teams
Virtual Teams

  • Coworkers with complementary skills committed to a common purpose and goals with accountability

  • Geographically and organizationally dispersed.

  • Use various telecommunication and information technologies to accomplish goals



Pros cons of virtual teams
Pros/Cons of Virtual Teams

  • Benefits:

    • allows us to draw from a large pool of qualified participants while minimizing cliques and politics

  • Drawbacks:

    • loss of social contact, feelings of isolation, lack of trust (especially with new members)


Success factors in virtual teams
Success Factors in Virtual Teams

  • High levels of trust among team members

  • Effective use of technology

  • Clear implementation of team concept

  • Effective individual performance


The challenge of building trust in virtual teams
The Challenge of Building Trustin Virtual Teams

  • What are some of the barriers or obstacles to building trust in virtual teams?

  • What sort of trust related issues or problems have you observed in virtual teams?

  • How were such issues handled or resolved?


Trust
Trust

  • Effective teamwork depends on trust

  • In a virtual environment, trust is more ability/task based than interpersonal relationship based

  • Level of member performance over time results in building or denial of trust


Three levels of trust
Three Levels of Trust

Calculus-based trust

  • easily broken by a violation of expectations

  • cannot sustain a team’s relationship

    Knowledge-based trust

  • More stable than calculus-based trust

  • Develops over time

    Identification-based trust

  • Based on social identity theory

  • Tend to forgive transgression because team is part of our personal identity


Three levels of trust1
Three Levels of Trust

High

Identification-based Trust

Knowledge-based Trust

Calculus-based Trust

Low


Trust in virtual teams
Trust in Virtual Teams

  • Cascio’s (2000) 3 traits to identify high trust teams:

    • Begin with some social interaction

    • Set clear goals for each member

    • Members are positive, enthusiastic, and focus on an action orientation in communications


Building trust virtually
Building Trust Virtually

  • Establish trust through performance consistency

    • Rapid response to team members (return emails, task completion)

    • Set strong norms around communication

    • Team leader role in reinforcing interactions


Virtual team trust performance consistency
Virtual Team Trust“Performance Consistency”

  • When you are working with people you never see, you can develop trust, but you must respond to that person. Follow through. If you tell them you are going to get back to a customer, get back to them.

  • I think trusting someone in a virtual team is linked directly to their work ethic. It is task first. The trust has been built through the task-based relationship that has evolved.

  • You gain the trust in people when they deliver what they promise, when all are contributing to the same idea and goal. I think that on a virtual team you start trusting each other when you start meeting those results and everybody has their role within the team and knows what their responsibility is and takes ownership to achieve results.

    • Source: Five Challenges to Virtual Team Success: Lessons From Sabre, Inc. Kirkman, Rosen, Gibson, McPherson. (2002) Academy of Management Executive, 16, 67-80.


Swift trust meyerson weick and kramer 1996
Swift Trust Meyerson, Weick, and Kramer (1996)

  • Swift trust is a concept relating to temporary teams whose existence is formed around a clear purpose and common task with a finite life span.

  • Its elements include a willingness to suspend doubt about whether others who are "strangers" can be counted on in order to get to work on the group's task...


Open systems model

TRANSFORMATION

INPUT

OUTCOMES

Open Systems Model


Tools technology
Tools & Technology

  • Utilize synchronous and asynchronous communication tools

  • MERLOT Workspace

  • Email and bi-monthly teleconferences

  • Tracking spreadsheet

  • On-line tutorial for new reviewers

  • Web page for Business editorial board

  • Volunteer Reviewer Questionnaire


Kirkman, Rosen, Tesluk & Gibson (in press). Impact of Team Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction. Academy of Management Journal.


Implementation of virtual teams
Implementation of Virtual Teams Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

  • Must set out a clear business reason for the team

  • Team must understand its mission/purpose

  • Team members must develop a sense of interdependence

  • Must have accountability and rewards for team members

  • Sources: Attaran & Attaran, 2003; Kezsbom, 2000; Redman & Sankar, 2003


Individual performance
Individual Performance Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

  • Potential for effort withholding behaviors (social loafing); can be minimized by building strong team identity

  • Members with high degree of centrality to the team and those that are information contributors are expected to be highest performers (Ahuja, Galletta, & Carley, 2003)

  • Members able to commit more resources are likely to be higherperformers (Ahuja et al., 2003)


Problems of inequity
Problems of Inequity Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

  • Equity Theory: People strive to maintain a ratio of their outcomes (rewards) to their own inputs (contributions) equal to the outcomes/input ratio of others whom they compare themselves

  • Inequities in rewards among MERLOT team members


Equity theory
Equity Theory Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

Pay, benefits,

opportunities, etc.

the same,

more or less

OUTCOME

INPUTS

OUTCOME

INPUTS

< = >

?

effort, ability,

experience etc.

A person evaluates fairness by comparing his/her ratio with others.


Overreward vs underreward inequity

Outcomes Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

Overreward

Inequity

Outcomes

Inputs

Inputs

Outcomes

Underreward

Inequity

Outcomes

Inputs

Inputs

Overreward vs Underreward Inequity

Comparison

Other

You


Equity sensitivity
Equity Sensitivity Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

  • Benevolents

    • Tolerant of being underrewarded

  • Equity Sensitives

    • Want ratio to be equal to the comparison other

  • Entitleds

    • Prefer receiving proportionately more than others


Dealing with motivational problems in virtual teams
Dealing with Motivational Problems in Virtual Teams Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

  • Please share your experience of dealing with a motivational problem (social loafing, inequity, etc) in a virtual team.

  • What was the nature of the problem?

  • Was it corrected/resolved and how?


Performance indicators of merlot business team
Performance Indicators of MERLOT Business Team Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.


Future initiatives
Future Initiatives Empowerment on Virtual Team Performance: The Moderating Role of Face-to-Face Interaction.

  • Increasing number of volunteer peer reviewers

    • how will we build team identity, trust, and commitment with volunteer reviewers?

  • Integrating new technologies

    • video conferencing

    • online synchronous collaboration tools

    • new data sharing tools


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