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Group and Teams (Essay Sample)


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. (2003, 05). 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]

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.

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.

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

Case 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 general background materials.

•Make use of both the required Case Assignment articles as well as the required general background materials in your paper. Apply concepts that you learned in the background materials in your answers to the assignment questions.

•Review our “Writing Style Guide” for more detail on referencing and writing expectations. This guide is found under “My Resources” in the TLC portal.


Group and Teams
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Virtual teams refers to groups of individuals who execute their roles while they are geographically distributed, and performing their core tasks majorly through electronic medium and have shared obligations for the team outcomes. They are often geographically separated and their works are independently distributed, but are working for the same organization. Virtual teams may work across organizational, time and distance boundaries (Rigby, 2013). Virtual teams are aided by both software and hardware technologies to perform their work. Though, traditional and virtual teams share similar characteristics of good communication, one aspect of communication that generally differentiates them is the increased asynchronous communication, which is commonly experienced among virtual teams. Even though, virtual teams have frequent meetings in team chat rooms, they do not have frequent real-time synchronous communication with virtual team members. In virtual teamwork, ability to exchange communication is often faced with challenges of distance and time. Leaders of virtual teams must develop strict guidelines concerning when, what and how to communicate. Daily communication is the glue which should bind a virtual team together.
Five stages of group development
Normally, virtual teams follow the five stages of traditional team development such as forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. In the forming stage, virtual team members know each other and create ground rules, and try to know which behaviors will be considered acceptable to the team concerning interpersonal relationship and tasks related duties (Garfoot, 2003). They often get confused how to behave within the group and may question how and why belonging to such group is vital to them. This is the preparation stage in which the members define the purpose of the team. The second stage is storming whereby members begin to clarify purpose of the team, clarify functions and responsibility of the team members, and clarify how communication technologies will be effectively utilized, and develop guidelines for team members. Workshops are expected to be organized to develop clarification of team processes, create shared responsibility, and build trust (Sadri and Condia, 2012). Conflict, geographical and cultural differences may occur and members may show certain hostility. Some members may resist the control put in place by the team’s leader whereas some members may opt to withdraw. Nevertheless, disputes may be solved and members start to accept and work with the team leader, and the group moves through the third stage (norming).
In norming stage, virtual teams develop norms that govern both communication content and work processes. Garfoot (2003) view that the members begin to work together following standard guidelines, create close relationships with other members, share similar feelings and start to get agreeable solutions. Performing is the fourth stage whereby virtual team members...
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