Structuring Virtual Teams Case

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The Case Assignments for this course are tightly coordinated with the SLP and the TD. In the SLP, you will be working with a virtual team comprising several of your classmates. In the Case, you will be considering the more conceptual topics that will guide you in structuring your team and its work. Your task is to apply what you learn from preparing the Cases to the way you build your team. The exception is Module 4, where the Case involves an assessment of your team and the SLP an action plan for improvement and learning. The goal is that by the end of the course you will have had a chance to learn and practice what current management “gurus” are telling us about how to work in virtual teams, and will be in a position to analyze how effective these practices are.

Arguably the trickiest part of building and maintaining an effective virtual team is the task of balancing “togetherness” and “apartness.” Some insight was given to this question in the background reading. Now read an additional piece, which expands on this theme:

Mapping out the creative process and work design approach. Retrieved from http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/46/078…

After considering the material in this reading as well as the background readings and any other research material you choose to use, reflect on how a virtual team best addresses the balance between togetherness and apartness. Specifically, you will want to think about how the work in virtual teams is designed as well as how leadership is handled. For example:

  • What are the options for work design and leadership of virtual teams?
  • How do task requirements and team characteristics affect the choices of work design and leadership (such as rotating, etc.)? Be specific and give examples if appropriate.
  • Make an assessment of the effectiveness of the structures/practices covered by the readings in this module for virtual teaming. (In other words, do they work, or are the authors of the readings hopelessly out of touch with reality?)

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