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Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor to Success in Virtual Teams Collaborations


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Communication and trust plays an important role in virtual team working nowadays. It is because virtual team’s members come from different culture around the world. We know that, different cultures implant different behavior, value and norms. This article will study about the importance of communication and trust element in virtual team working. This article will divided into two parts which are communication and trust in virtual teams. Trust in virtual teams will focus on three type includes impersonal, abstract trust relationships and personal trust relationships. Swift trust and how to build it is also discussed to provide information about virtual teams to promote better understanding. This article provides information for organizations or manager that chooses virtual teams in undertaking their international business or assignment. Keywords:Cross culture management, trust, virtual team, swift trust.
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International Journal of Business and Technopreneurship
Volume 2, No. 3, October 2012 [399-413]
Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor to Success in Virtual
Teams Collaborations
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf
Communication and trust plays an important role in virtual team working
nowadays. It is because virtual team’s members come from different culture
around the world. We know that, different cultures implant different behavior,
value and norms. This article will study about the importance of
communication and trust element in virtual team working. This article will
divided into two parts which are communication and trust in virtual teams.
Trust in virtual teams will focus on three type includes impersonal, abstract
trust relationships and personal trust relationships. Swift trust and how to build
it is also discussed to provide information about virtual teams to promote better
understanding. This article provides information for organizations or manager
that chooses virtual teams in undertaking their international business or
Keywords: Cross culture management, trust, virtual team, swift trust.
Virtual teams are defined as group of people from different places, culture, time
zone and work method that work together using technologies to communicate
and meet each other virtually. Johnson, Heimann and O’ Neil (2001) defined
virtual teams as groups of people who collaborate closely even though they may
or may not be separated by space, time and organizational barriers. Hunsker and
J. Hunsaker (2008) defined virtual teams as groups of geographically and/or
organizationally dispersed co-workers that are assembled using a combination of
telecommunications and information’s technologies to accomplish an
organizational task.
Normally, virtual teams are much related to some words that give real means
such as communicate through technologies, meet virtually using technologies
medium, people who are from different culture and time zone. Organization
chooses this method undertaking their international assignment to cut cost and
time. Virtual team’s collaborations become very important methods today in
encouraging international business activities. For those who have difficulties to
BIBI NORAINI MOHD YUSUF, School of Business Innovation and Technopreneurship, Universiti Malaysia
Perlis, Malaysia,
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf/Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor…
interact in face-to-face communication, this approach gives some opportunity to
take part in international business work. Apart from that, people could learn to
work with other people around the world without a need to travel abroad. We
could understand others’ culture characteristics through virtual teams because
normally communication styles, methods of work and leadership’s style in virtual
team working are different from one country compared to another country.
Indirectly, it’s give some basic information of others culture and that’s the way
we recognize characteristic of foreign cultures.
Apart from that, virtual teams also have several differences compared to
conventional team. Table 1 describes the comparison between virtual teams and
conventional teams. The comparison shows that communications and the method
of communications is an important factor to induce understanding. It also proves
that clear communications play an important role to virtual and conventional
teams to be successful.
Table 1: Adapted from Hunsaker and J. Hunsaker, 2008
Spatial distance
Technologically Mediated
Face to Face
From the Table 1, in summary, virtual teams are more to cross boundaries of
space and conventional teams in close proximing to one another when
communicate. The members in virtual teams are located geographically distant
and meet virtually using technology medium. Virtual teams’ members are using
technologies such as video conferencing and e-mail to interact and communicate
to each other. Conventional teams use face-to-face communication style to
interact among them. Whatever medium used to communicate by both team
members, the important issue is that communication is the first stage in building
trust continuously in relationship among them.
Communication is one of important elements in virtual teams because team
members are comprise of different national cultures. Group behavior and
communications styles usually are differ between one countries compared to
another. Communication also not only talks about ‘when’ and ‘what’ but ‘how
to communicate among members. Johnson, Heimann and O’ Neil (2001) said
that in virtual world, the old adage: You never get a second chance to make a
International Journal of Business and Technopreneurship
Volume 2, No. 3, October 2012 [399-413]
first impression’, rings truer than ever. All team members should be concerned
and be very careful with their first sentences in communication for the reason
that it will build trust or cause barriers in communications. Ferraro (1998)
divided communications to two ways which are (1) through language (using
words that have mutually understood meanings and are linked together into
sentences according to consistently followed rules) and (2) through nonverbal
communication or silent language. Virtual teams’ members use technology to
communicate with each other. Usually they will use tools such as chat rooms,
voice mail, computer-mediated conferencing (CMC), fax, e-mail, video
conferencing, telephone conference, online system and communication software.
Only talented people should be chosen to manage a virtual team’s assignment.
They are characterized as people who possess good verbal, listening, writing
skills and superior skills in using communication technology. Successful
communication and daily communications helps all members keep on track
especially between manager and team members. Manager must have a good skill
and strong leadership to allocate clear information to team members. A
successful communication means team members in virtual teams understand
messages conveyed by the.
Combination between technology tool and superior skill to use the technology
tool as a medium of communication in virtual team assignment is very important.
Virtual teams cannot be set up or exist today without the advanced and high-tech
technological tools. Bergiel, J.Bergiel and Balsmeier (2008) said that this
platform (website) a convenient space to store and distribute graphic materials,
schedules, flowcharts, reference materials and much more. Text only
communications is appropriate for mundane communication although it never
substitute for higher-level communication that requires graphics or images.
Communications becomes serious issue in virtual team’s task because of two
main factors namely language and multiple zone face-to-face interactions.
Language also a serious factor in communications among virtual teams members.
Even the members have a very good skill in term of language, the
communication style still differ from one country to another country. High
context nations such as Japan and Malaysia more too polite, high power distance,
relationships oriented and applied give face culture in their communication style.
Besides, Western countries such as United States more on individualistic, low
power distance, task oriented and direct communications style. Gamsrieg (2005)
said that high context communication systems are the extreme opposite of flow
context communication systems. The issue that stressed here is that all teams
member must understand the communication style and culture of each member
that involve in their virtual work. Fail to understand others members culture can
cause communication barriers among members. Johnson, Heimann and O’ Neil
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf/Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor…
(2001) list three communication barriers that exist in virtual team’s
i) Lack of project visibility means members were unclear on the tasks they
were required to do and they were vague on how their tasks fit in to the
project as a whole.
ii) Getting in touch with people means members would send out questions and
would never get back a response.
iii) Constraints in technology means had difficulty in determining the meaning
of text-based messages such as e-mails, especially if the person was
attempting to be sarcastic.
Apart from that, communications are important in determining whether the
virtual teams are successful especially in term of time difference and face-to-face
meeting or contact. Time difference exists because members are from different
zone time of country such as Malaysia at 9.00 pm but United Kingdom at 4.00
a.m. The differences in time zones need a good time plan by managers to ensure
and enable all members could attend the meeting virtually. Face-to-face
communication is also important. This communication style could be
implemented using video conferencing. Members can see other members’ faces
and gestures and it can build trust among them. Working as a team with multi-
cultural members is difficult enough, but it becomes much more once the
complexities of time, distance, expense, etc., are added to the task of global
executives who cannot meet face-to-face (Kiely, 2001). In the other hand,
language is one of the elements that should be seriously stressed by members
because they are differences in national culture. Oerting and Buergi (2006) said
that language is important and all members should pay attention to the pace of
speech, slang and different accents. Some words such as ‘yes’ not exactly means
agree. For example, in Japanese culture, the words ‘yes’ means they will think
about the issue discussed or means disagree at all.
Brake (2006) said that in applying cultural intelligence, one need to ensure to
communicate respects for all the differences in teams, provide opportunities for
all the team members to dialogue about the differences and learn from one
another (particularly how differences might manifest themselves in virtual
setting). One also need to support the teams by facilitating the development of a
cultural infrastructure of shared rooms and conventions (operating agreements).
Apart from that, Brake (2006) also list three important things when
communicating context namely:
i) Challenge your own assumptions about what is ‘nice to know’ versus ‘need
to know’.
ii) Put you in the position of other people on the team – what are their
individual realities and current levels of understanding about the project,
the team, the organization, etc?
International Journal of Business and Technopreneurship
Volume 2, No. 3, October 2012 [399-413]
iii) Use the right technology for the right purpose. Email, for example, is often
good for communicating facts, but not for communicating some of the
meaning associated with those facts, example which you feel resonate must
with you and your situation.
Commonality of language is identified as an important issue. The most effective
communications required accuracy, precision and simplicity to avoid ambiguity
and misunderstanding (Kelly, Crossman and Cannings, 2004). Virtual team’s
members must understand that there is no short cut to success in virtual team
working. If all members want to communicate effectively, they must learn a
language that used in virtual teams working. Moreover, there are close
relationship between language and culture. Ferraro (1998) said that in all
language points of cultural emphasis are directly reflected in the size and
specialization of the vocabularies. In other words, a language will contain a
greater number of terms, more synonyms, and more fine distinctions when
referring to features of cultural emphasis. Apart from that, language also mirrors
to values of cultural. For examples, United States (US) people start from the
cultural assumption that the individual is supreme and not only can, but should,
shape his or her own destiny (Ferraro, 1998). From the sentence, we can see that
US people more individualistic culture and usually low context culture such as
US more task oriented compare to low contact culture. All teams members must
adapt and flexible in accept others members culture.
The conclusion is communication is very important to determine virtual
teamwork successful. The goal of virtual works could not be achieved without
smooth communication. Ton Van Der Smagt (2000); Newcombe (1996) said that
an improvement in relationships between the parties is likely to improve
communications more effectively than any changes in communication
techniques. In summary, communication plays an important role in successful
virtual team’s assignment. A good communication will build trust among team
members. The more important thing is all members must understand and learn
how to communicate each other’s. Failed to identify the right way to
communicate will cause failure in virtual team’s communications. All teams’
members must understand that language is a symbolic of systems and have its
own linguistic diversity on the earth. Clear communication by expert in virtual
teams collaborations can helps members from high context such as China build
swift trust especially in short term virtual working.
Trust in Virtual Teams
Trust is the most important elements in virtual team working. Trust is the key
factor to determine successful collaborations in virtual teams. Actually, it is
difficult to give the exact meaning of trust because various definition are given. If
we want dialogue to be a serious option for organizational communication and at
the same time know that organizational form is an important determinant of trust,
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf/Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor…
it makes sense to take a closer look at organizational form. Lack of trust can be
assumed as a barrier to members especially to encourage them doing the right
thing in their jobs. Trust was composed of several elements: (a) a sense of trust
that individuals would do what they aid within the designated time frame; (b)
trust in the accurateness of the information provided by the other team members;
(c) trust that team members would give honest and constructive feedback on
ideas, thoughts, and creative efforts shared electronically; (d) trust in one
another’s expertise and ability to do the work effectively; and (e) trust that the
other team members would hold ideas shared in confidence if requested (Nemiro,
2000). The elements that should be stressed in building trust are sincere and
appropriate. Sincere and appropriate in virtual team working help build trust and
enhance better communication. Usually, the more trust among team members the
more information sharing and exchange among them. Exchange information can
encourage team members doing the right way especially to achieve their
objective in develop virtual teams collaborations.
High level of trust and sincere among team members makes them comfortable in
working together. Their collaborations become more effective. Holton (2001)
said that, trust develops through frequent and meaningful interaction, where
individual learns to feel comfortable and open in sharing their individual insight
and concerns, where ideas and assumptions can be challenged without fear or
risk of repercussion and where diversity of opinion is valued over commonality
or compliance. On the other hand, without trust, goal and objective of virtual
teams cannot be achieved. Kelly, Crossman and Cannings (2004) explain that the
building of interpersonal and intra organizational trust and commitment was
considered as an important component in the storming and norming stages of the
teams, development, without mutual trust being establish reciprocal commitment
would not be achieved. In developing trust face to face interactions are still
important. Face to face interactions can also create confidence in virtual team
working. Once members can build trust, they can work effectively and
successfully. There are two type of trust that will be discusse in these sub topics
namely Impersonal, Abstract Trust Relationships and Personal Trust
Impersonal, Abstract Trust Relationships
Impersonal and abstract trust relationship pattern of trust normally applied in
short-term team working. Trust exists in this pattern through previous successful
interactions especially in institutional context. Nandhakumar and Backerville
(2006) provide information that in the short term most of teams were able to be
activated and operational in the company context, even in the absence of personal
relationships, because these teams relied on previously successful interactions,
which are sediment and embedded in the institutional context, as impersonal or
abstract trust relations. Apart from that, they are several factors that can build
trust among members in short term virtual collaborations such as:
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i) Confidence in existence of social orders and routines.
ii) Confidence in legitimacy of power relations and hierarchical order.
iii) Confidence in the working of the expert knowledge.
Usually trust built in this pattern because all members are confidence and believe
that advice given by expert is the most important thing to complete their task.
Experts identified as a person that have better knowledge and extra skill in
whatever task that they want to complete. Such impersonal and, abstract trust
relationships enable temporary team working with experts as and when needed to
solve specifics problems (Nandhakumar and Baskerville, 2006). Besides, short-
term team working in virtual teams also can create swift trust. Swift trust happens
or can be built because teams’ members need to decide and make the decision
when action is more stressed. The idea of abstract trust shares many attributes
with the concept of swift trust. We know that, it is difficult to build trust among
people in high context culture especially in short-term team working. However,
expert that have extra skill and superior experience in doing virtual teams works
can influence level of trust among members from high context culture. In
building trust especially swift trust Brake, (2006) list five important factors that
should be considered by all team members:
i) Communicate openly and frequently.
ii) Make your actions as transparent as possible.
iii) Be accessible and responsive.
iv) Keep everyone informed.
v) Do what you say you will do, be consistent and predictable.
Personal Trust Relationships
Personal trust relationship pattern of trust explains that it exist in long-term
virtual team working. The key words or the most important part in personal trust
relationships is that the trust starts to be built by face-to-face meeting. There will
be none of the virtual teams work without face-to-face interactions. Body
language or non-verbal communications are very important in long-term team
working. It includes whether through face-to-face interactions or video
conferencing. Gesture plays an important role in identifying team members’
attentions and their interest in the topics discuss in virtual teams meeting.
Technology alone could not develop trust because personal trust relationships
needs physical context to know each other’s. Nandhakumar and Baskerville
(2006) explained that the team members saw such face-to-face involvement as
helping to develop attitudes towards the other as a trust worthy party. This
described that physical context are needed in long-term virtual teams. Without
face-to-face meets, virtual teams will not work. Both culture (High Context and
Low Context) agree that without face-to-face interactions, people in virtual teams
face difficulty in building trust. No matter whatever reasons are given in building
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf/Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor…
personal trust relationship, there is still a need to meet each other once or twice a
year. Face-to-face interactions can gain the level of trust among members in
long-terms virtual collaborations.
Technology enables members to know each other in limited ways. They will
begin the relationship with send pictures and first greeting to their members in
virtual organizational but as we know that is the eye contact plays important roles
in non-verbal communications. Technology that are used today still not enable
non-verbal communication especially eye contact applied by members. Only
some gestures that can be seen through video conferencing. Nandhakumar and
Baskerville (2006) said that personal trust and commitment based on personal
relationship, face-to-face contacts and familiarity. Most of manager thinks that
their office contact is the best place to build personal trust. This is because
normally people socializing each other at office. Moreover, this socializing
encourage people to communicate face to face every day. Face to face
communication can help to build personal trust through contribute strong
confidence on bodies language especially face expression. Face-to-face
communication also helps members improved through shared experiences and
information exchanges. Nandhakumar and Baskerville (2006) explained that
personal trust relationships need to be actively built by individuals opening out to
others in an organizational context and by access to backstage activities.
Medium, that most suitable in establishing personal trust is, by using video
conferencing allows members to monitor each member’s movement, face and
gesture in their virtual meeting. Table 2 illustrates how personal trust relationship
can be developed. This table also helps to explain and discuss the information
about personal trust relationships development for better understanding:
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Volume 2, No. 3, October 2012 [399-413]
Table 2: Adapted from Nandhakumar and Baskerville (2006)
a c
However, face-to-face interactions still play an important role in personal trust
because technology such as computer does not allow members to share their
feelings and informal knowledge. Moreover, limitations of technologies such as
social limit (hierarchical relations) and practical limits (time zone) also do not
allow members to share their feeling through computer system. Personal trust
relationships can be developed and based on personal relationships, face-to-face
contacts and familiarity.
There are strong relation between communications and trust in determining
virtual teams’ success. This section will describe and discuss the implications of
communications and trust in virtual workplace. Success in communication and in
building trust among members is a key factor to make sure all vision, mission
and objective of virtual team work can be achieved. Apart from that, clear
communications and high trust in virtual teams works will makes all members
satisfied and happy to work together. To makes better understand about this
section, discussion will divided in to two subtopics namely communications and
trust implications in virtual teams.
Individuals situated
Individual face to face
relationships helps to create
personal trust
Individuals reflexively
drawing on existing trust
Through interactions
personal trust sediments
in the context as abstract
trust (forming &
Personal trust
relationship: individual
Impersonal, abstract
trust relationship:
institutional level
Individuals situated
Individuals situated
Individuals situated
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf/Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor…
Communication Implications in Virtual Teams Collaborations
Communication is very important in virtual teams’ works especially in
determining goal and objective that can be achieved. Many research show that
lower quality of communication in virtual teams will cause unsatisfaction among
members. This situation are not healthy in virtual teams collaboration because
can cause failure in achieving goal of virtual teams. Akkirman and Harris (2005)
discuss that employees in a virtual workplace experienced lower levels of job
stress, all correlated with lower quality communication. Normally, members that
are poor in communication have relation with lower commitment on their works.
The problem will increase once they are working together because usually,
workers that are low level in communication and commitment to their works,
will be lower in productivity. We know that, lower in productivity will cause
employee not interested in their task. Akkirman and Harris (2005), listed five
steps to make sure communications successful and all teams satisfied in
communications namely:
i) Establishing information technology and network infrastructure and
providing ongoing training.
ii) The organization changed its organizational structure to form a process-
based organization that allowed employees to take an entire process from
start to finish one rapid flow.
iii) The organization adopted managing by results.
iv) Created a paperless organization which stored information in digital format
allowing all workers to access the most updated information from
anywhere and anytime
v) Organization created virtual office, where 65% of their workforce moved
out of office and into their own virtual workplace.
The facilities of information technology and role of organization in providing
their virtual worker knowledge about the technology help all workers become
more effective and productive. Clear communications also can be achieved by
using technology facilitate now days. A good medium in communication can
help members exchange information well. Indirectly, it also will affect the virtual
team’s performance. Example of technology hardware that is created to help
members in communications is voice-over internet protocol (VOIP), virtual
private networks (VDNs) and internet. Apart from that, several computer-based
communications system also created to improve and increase productivity of
virtual teams working communication such as computer mediated
communication systems (CMCS). Beranek and Martz (2005) said that variations
of this system are used in industry to support the basic meeting and task functions
found in remote or virtual teamwork and in some cases, variants of the systems
are being used increasingly in academia to support the use of teams in online
classes. The better technology provided by organization to their virtual team
worker the better groups can work together.
International Journal of Business and Technopreneurship
Volume 2, No. 3, October 2012 [399-413]
Learn about the main language used in virtual team works is important. Some
words have different meaning from one culture to another culture. For examples
the words “yes’ in Japanese culture that discuss earlier in this paper, proof that in
the low context culture they more polite and not straight forward if they not
agree. It is because most low context culture was applied face saving culture in
their country. It also relates to relationship oriented in team working compare to
high context that more on task oriented. According to Ferraro (1998) the goal of
communication in Japan is to consensus and promote harmony, while in the
United States it is to demonstrate one’s eloquence, language in Japan tends to be
cooperative, polite and conciliatory, language in United State is often
competitive, adversarial, confrontational and aimed at making a point. However,
the most important thing is virtual workers must have follow training in using
virtual teams technology. It can provid better information and superior skill in
virtual collaborations. Stanley Stough, Sean Eom and James Buskenmyer (2000),
have listed three groupware for facilitating communications and enhance the
innovative use of teams as below:
Table 3: Adapted from Stough, Eom and Buckenmyer (2000)
Medium Explanations
Electronic-mail (e-mail) - Most successful form of person to person
- Its capability has also become an essential
element in many commercial groupware
Computer based conferencing
- Allow a workgroup to exchange views, ideas or
- Information in a discussion to overcome the
barriers created by time and space.
Collaborative utility /
programming / drawing
- Permit each member of workgroup to create and
edit his or her sections of any document type
including text, graphics, and spreadsheets and so
From Table 3, team members have many choices to communicate each other
virtually. However, the most important thing is skill using the technology that is
used in virtual teams’ team working now days. All members must participate in
technology training that are prepared by organizations. Research has shown that
one of pitfalls in virtual teams is lack of knowledge using technology that are
used to communicate in virtual teams members.
Trust Implications in Virtual Teams Works
Communications play important roles in building trust among all members. In
building trust, only the technology is not enough. Moreover, trust has correlations
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf/Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor…
with relationships. Trust also helps to enhance communication and virtual teams’
performance. The impersonal, abstract trust relationships and personal trust
relationships exist because virtual team’s works may be permanent and
temporary. Face to face interactions very important in permanent and long virtual
works. No team works without face-to-face interactions. Impersonal, abstract
trust relationship and swift trust is the two type of trust in short-term virtual team
working. Pateli and Duncan (2004) explained that swift trust could be strong and
‘resilient’ enough to survive the life of the temporary group since it center around
the competent and faithful enactment of clear roles and members associated
duties. Besides, personal trust exists in permanent or long-term virtual teams
working. Face-to-face interaction important because members trust builds
through this way. Verbal and non-verbal communications play important roles in
face-to-face interactions. Language, face expression and gestures are the way in
which members build trust. Confident verbal communication helps to build
personal trust. Moreover, all knowledge or information that members used in
communications described how far members alert with their virtual work.
Indirectly, it can enhance confident to build trust in virtual teams working.
However, the most challenging in trust issue is how to build swift trust among
members that come from high context culture. Trust only can build among them
in long-term because they need time to trust people that work with them. Clear
communication by expert in virtual teams is a solution to this problem. Research
results have proof that, members that do not have experience in virtual teams or
come from high context culture can build swift trust from the explanation given
by expert. Usually, expert will describe about the abstract of past successful of
virtual teams working to build trust among them. In summary, clear
communications helps a lot in build trust among members. Communications and
trust very related each other as we can see on the table 4 above. First words
whether verbal or writing using technology medium will determine the level of
trust that can be built among them. Members that have difficulty in
communications especially do not understand how to use correct language when
communicate will cause failure in building trust in virtual teams works.
International Journal of Business and Technopreneurship
Volume 2, No. 3, October 2012 [399-413]
Table 4: Communications and trust that very related each other and final results is
successful virtual teams
All members must alert and concern about correct words slang and words
pronunciation when converse to each other. The more important thing to
highlight is failed build trust in virtual teams will cause all objective and goal
failed to achieved. Strong leadership in virtual teams must know, understand, and
identify the way the members should communicate to each other and the type or
Impersonal, Abstract
Trust, Swift Trust
Non Verbal Communication
Verbal Communication
Personal Trust
Bibi Noraini Mohd Yusuf/Communications and Trust Is a Key Factor…
patterns of trust to be applied in their virtual teams working. This knowledge can
be gained among members by giving them training about the technology system
and correct methods that they should use in invisible collaboration of virtual
teams. Pattern of trust also described as the communications styles that most
suitable to be used. In personal trust (long-term team working), face-to-face
interactions is the best way to applied. We must understand and keep in our mind
that long-terms virtual teams collaborations really concern about face-to-face
interactions. There are none of virtual teams working without face-to-face
meeting. Impersonal, abstract trust relationship is more to short-term virtual team
working. The issue in this pattern of trust is swift trust. We have discussed that
about this earlier. Clear communication from expert about successful of virtual
teams in the past helps to build trust among members from high context culture.
It does not have any problem to low context culture people in build swift trust
because they are task oriented people but the challenges is to relationships
oriented people that takes times to trust and very concern about the relationships
when working together. The results are successful of virtual team working in
both situations namely long-term and short-term virtual team’s collaborations.
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... The study ended without having performed that benefit-cost analysis. The commissioner claimed later that not having that analysis was one of the reasons no decision on a revised operating policy was made until some nine years after the formal 20-million-dollar study ended [34]. ...
... Scien being asked to place a monetary value on an environmental benefit that they were not a The study ended without having performed that benefit-cost analysis. The commissione later that not having that analysis was one of the reasons no decision on a revised operati was made until some nine years after the formal 20-million-dollar study ended [34]. To bring science closer to meeting the particular needs of policy makers, s need to understand their information needs. ...
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Water resource management policies impact how water supplies are protected, collected, stored, treated, distributed, and allocated among multiple users and purposes. Water resource policies influence the decisions made regarding the siting, design, and operation of infrastructure needed to achieve the underlying goals of these policies. Water management policies vary by region depending on particular hydrologic, economic, environmental, and social conditions, but in all cases they will have multiple impacts affecting these conditions. Science can provide estimates of various economic, ecologic, environmental, and even social impacts of alternative policies, impacts that determine how effective any particular policy may be. These impact estimates can be used to compare and evaluate alternative policies in the search for identifying the best ones to implement. Among all scientists providing inputs to policy making processes are analysts who develop and apply models that provide these estimated impacts and, possibly, their probabilities of occurrence. However, just producing them is not a guarantee that they will be considered by policy makers. This paper reviews various aspects of the science-policy interface and factors that can influence what information policy makers need from scientists. This paper suggests some ways scientists and analysts can contribute to and inform those making water management policy decisions. Brief descriptions of some water management policy making examples illustrate some successes and failures of science informing and influencing policy.
... Eriksson et al. (2002) emphasize that it is important to create trust and commitment within the team. Mohd and Noraini (2012) also observe strong relation between communication and trust in determining team success, while Kalyvas (2009) agrees that these two are key success factors. Dube and Katane (2017) list organizational culture, leadership, trust, communication and team commitment as other important success factors, followed by project management maturity Proper selection of project management approach, either prescriptive or adaptive, can also be a success factor on project (Rolstadås et al. 2014). ...
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Communication in global project teams is emerging research topic as more and more work is done in form of global project, with geographically dispersed teams communicating using different communication channels. There are several unique dimensions to consider in comparison to communication in traditional project teams, including some unique risks and success factors. This article provides a systematic literature review on internal communication in global project teams. Cultural aspects of global project team collaboration were also investigated. A bibliometric analysis was performed through methodological approach applied in previous studies. Traditional project management and communication methods are not the best option for global projects as they can't answer the additional challenges that global projects provide in comparison to traditional projects. Key risks and success factors on global projects were identified and proposals extracted on how to run the internal communication on global projects. Requirements for successful global project manager were described. Our research revealed a gap in available literature, encouraging further exploration and serving as a basis for further research.
... This concept was brought to the surface and made popular by the U.S. management specialist Peter Drucker (WebFinance, 2017). For an e-collaboration team to be effective, it is important to pay attention to the challenges that may arise, such as the team composition, culture, communication, trust and structural obstacles (Deloitte, 2011;Hamburg, 2019;Morrison-Smith & Ruiz, 2020;Oertig & Buergi, 2006;SHRM, 2020;Yusuf, 2012). In addition, having taught project-based learning with students from various nations with different upbringings one can clearly see the importance of these factors for the project to be a success. ...
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Globalization is a key reason why an organization outsources its activities or creates virtual teams to remain competitive in today's international market. Organizations are utilizing new technologies to become more efficient and employees frequently collaborate by using e-tools at work. Today´s workers are faced with a fast-paced work environment with frequently changing requirements and digital innovations. Keeping up with the development can be a challenge. Incorporating e-collaboration into the student learning process is, therefore, crucial to the modern learning environment as it prepares students to work in teams. This has become even more important now after the COVID-19. The pandemic has forced universities to go online at a record speed and the workforce to work from home. This study looks at the e-collaboration success, challenges, perception, and tools and delves into a quantitative study of graduate students who have been working on semester-long corporate projects in the information systems discipline.
... At the same time, trust also significantly positively affects the electronic collaboration of SMEs [70]. Because trust can improve communication between partners, the performance of both parties can be enhanced [71]. The improvement of communication leads to an increase in collaboration among partners, and the collaborative advantage affects firm performance [72]. ...
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This study applies the partnership quality theory to investigate how the perceived information sharing quality from express delivery service providers can affect logistics service performance for online shoppers in terms of partnership quality (including trust and commitment) and willingness to share information from E-commerce enterprises. Based on 421 samples of E-commerce enterprises in China, the results of structural equation modelling revealed that perceived information sharing quality affects partnership trust, which in turn affects the partnership commitment and willingness to share information. Partnership quality and willingness to share information affect the perceived performance of the express delivery services. Surprisingly, information sharing quality does not play a role in commitment. This study provides a theoretical contribution to E-commerce supply chain research in constructing a cognition, affective, behavior, and conative performance model for further research.
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Increased globalization and competition in most industries has greatly changed the execution of different duties and responsibilities most especially the flow of communication in businesses. This has further affected the level of trust in most businesses most especially among the employees and between the business and customers. The main objective of the study was to investigate the effect if business communication and business trust on business growth. Data was collected using an online survey questionnaire from 100 employees of Intrasoft International in Greece. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS and Pearson's rank correlation coefficient was based on to establish the relationship between variables. The level top which the independent variables predict the dependent variables was established using regression analysis. The study established a positive relationship between business communication and business. A significant and positive relationship was also confirmed between business trust and business growth.
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Purpose – This paper aims to extend knowledge about virtual teams and their advantages and disadvantages in a global business environment. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a literature review and reported findings from interviews with experts and practitioners in the field, the paper has identified and discussed the advantages and problems associated with creating and managing virtual teams. Findings – In today's competitive global economy, organizations capable of rapidly creating virtual teams of talented people can respond quickly to changing business environments. Capabilities of this type offer organizations a form of competitive advantage. Originality/value – By identifying the advantages and problems associated with virtual teams, organizations will be better able to successfully establish and manage such teams.
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Organizations are increasing their reliance on virtual relationships in structuring operations for a global environment. Like all teams, virtual teams require a solid foundation of mutual trust and collaboration, if they are to function effectively. Identifying and applying appropriate team building strategies for a virtual environment will not only enhance organizational effectiveness but will also impact positively on the quality of working life for virtual team members.
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Purpose – This paper seeks to present the challenges reported by project leaders of cross-cultural geographically distributed, or virtual project teams operating within the matrix organisation of ABC, a multinational company based in Switzerland. Design/methodology/approach – The research is qualitative and exploratory, taking the form of inductive thematic analysis. Findings – The key themes reported to be of significance were the challenge of leadership, managing virtual aspects of communication and developing trust. Sub-themes consisted of managing the task, managing people, managing language and cultural issues and, lastly, managing the matrix. Practical implications – These include attention to the selection of leaders, continued facilitation of face-to-face communication in a virtual age and investment in language and intercultural training. Originality/value – Future research might investigate the complementary perspective of line management and take up the theme of high fluctuation of team members and leaders.
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The concept of teams and teamwork is increasingly becoming an important key to productivity and employee satisfaction in the contemporary workplace. This paper looks at the concept of teams and teamwork and several innovative ways of using teams. Among the innovative ways of using teams are globally networked teams, team-based strategic planning, flexible-jobbing, the horizontal corporation, and the virtual corporation. The use of computer-mediated communication technologies and other groupware technologies provide a workable, reliable, and flexible base of systems for creating the platforms for virtual teams and virtual organizations. An overview of current information technology available for supporting teams and which types of information technology are most valuable in enhancing the new team applications is briefly addressed. Supporting technologies include groupware for facilitating communication, supporting information storage and retrieval, and supporting decision making. Lastly, the many competitive advantages to the use of virtual teaming in the global environment as well as its managerial implications and strategic recommendations for improving the performance of virtual teams are presented.
Purpose – To report on a study testing training methods to improve communications among virtual team members. Design/methodology/approach – Training methods for improving virtual team communications were developed and administered to 12 virtual teams. Surveys tracking cohesiveness, perceptions of the process and satisfaction with the outcomes were administered before, during and after teams working on a series of projects. These results were compared with similar teams working on the same projects who did not receive training. Findings – Results indicated that teams receiving training showed more cohesiveness, perceptions of the process and satisfaction. These factors have been shown to increase team members' ability to exchange information and to positively affect the group's performance. Practical implications – Relational link training seems beneficial for virtual teams as the teams in this study that had relational link training showed higher levels of group cohesiveness, satisfaction with their group's outcome, and had a better impression of the group's virtual meeting process. Relational link training may have a benefit of establishing and managing expectations for how groups work together. This is especially true in its mitigating negative impacts on group cohesiveness. It is important to measure the impact of any training program, relational link or otherwise, over multiple periods, as the true impact may not become evident except over longer periods of time. Originality/value – Provides information on improving communication among virtual team members.
Here in the early days of the 21st century, we are hearing those voices around us, which long for the return of the charismatic, individualistic leaders of earlier times. Where are the so-called “leaders of men,” the giants of politics and industry who can safely show us the way? We used to be able to recognize them more easily; they stood tall, took little heed of other people's opinions, and spoke authoritatively like him-who-is-tobe-obeyed. But somewhere around New Year's 2000 (or was it earlier?), these titans seem to have become less individualistic. Leadership today seems to be more of a combination of great minds rather than any single intellect. We have come to realize that leaders simply do not and cannot stand alone. In his book, Organizing Genius, Warren Bennis (1997) titles the first chapter “The End of the Great Man” and argues that the day of the individualistic, charismatic leader is now past: The myth of the triumphant individual is deeply ingrained in the American psyche.... In our society leadership is too often seen as an inherently individual phenomenon. And yet we all know that cooperation and collaboration grow more important every day. A shrinking world in which technological and political complexity increase at an accelerating rate offers fewer and fewer arenas in which individual action suffices. Recognizing this, we talk more and more about the need for teamwork (p. 1). The vastness and complexity of the task in the new century now requires leaders to see far beyond their own individual perspectives, no matter how wise or impressive they may have seemed. To add to Bennis' technology and political complexity, Moran, Harris and Stripp (1993) add culture, rapid change and the shifting nature of work: The human family and global business in particular are increasingly intercultural and interdependent. We are in passage from a work culture that conditioned most of us when the Industrial Revolution recast our physical world and reality through mechanization, quantification, and consolidation. We are in transit to a Knowledge Society, dominated by high technology and information processing, a culture marked by mediation (describing and interpreting our world), by simulation and virtual reality (VR), and by circularity (events whipping around us, interacting and shaping experiences). In these circumstances, between epochs, everything we do is cross-cultural and dynamic. (pp. 10–11). This chapter will focus on what happens to business leadership in an environment like that just described. Clearly the “triumphant individual” is rare, organizational hierarchy is being flattened, team process takes center stage, globalization makes organizations and teams international, and the various electronic communication media become the environment of the new reality. The approach of this chapter will be, first, to examine some of the issues of virtual teams — the challenges, problems and solutions, payoffs, technology, and the array of human, economic, political and even philosophical issues they raise. Secondly, we move to an analysis of three areas of difficulty that face global leadership in the virtual environment: culture, trust and collaboration. As part of this analysis, we suggest strategic approaches for executives to employ in order to solve and preempt some of these problems. The emergence of “virtual teams” (VT) has become one of the hottest topics in business management literature. And in that literature the subject of leadership comes up often. When it does, however, it is much more likely to discuss middle managers and team members. What this literature does not talk about much is what goes on with executives in the new virtual environment of global teams. On one hand, Bennis' “triumphant individual” is passes on the other hand, executives are still around and functioning as the top leaders of organizations. Although we shall see that most of the research and writing on virtual teams has been done on teams that operate deeper in the organization, it is nevertheless true that senior leaders of international organizations must also collaborate in a virtual environment. The collective knowledge of executive leadership teams plays itself out in a virtual, mediated environment to set the direction and strategy of the entire enterprise. These executive virtual teams may find the challenges of time and space to be even greater, with attendant increases in peril to the organization. We want to look carefully and strategically at the needs and challenges facing executive teams who utilize electronic media to run international businesses from widely scattered locations. Our concern is with the international virtual executive team (IVET).
Purpose – This study aims to compare levels of communication satisfaction between virtual workplace and traditional workplace employees in a single firm and explore the potential causes of the differences. Design/methodology/approach – Two groups, virtual office and traditional office workers, from a single firm were surveyed using Down and Hazen's Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire. Based on previous research, this study developed and tested hypotheses that traditional workers would have higher levels of satisfaction in personal feedback, communication climate, relationship with supervisors, horizontal and informal communication, organizational integration and overall communication satisfaction. Further analysis of the sample groups and of the company's process of implementation helped explain the differences found. Findings – Contrary to the hypotheses, this study found that virtual office workers were more satisfied with organization communication than traditional office workers. A discussion of these findings suggests this firm actually took steps recommended by researchers and consultants: upper level support, appropriate technology and technological support, culture training as well as technical training, restructuring work to support a virtual workplace, and providing extra social support systems to reduce alienation. Research limitations/implications – The results of the study are limited by the company-specific nature of the sample and number of responses. Originality/value – This study should help managers and practitioners in planning and implementing the technical and human side of a virtual workplace programme. It shows that communication satisfaction can improve in a virtual workplace and describes some of the steps the sample firm took in their implementation. Academic researchers can benefit by having a basis for further research and building beyond the limitations of this study.
Virtual reality, virtual space, virtual organizations, virtual teams; the word “virtual” is today’s organizational buzzword. One of the fastest-growing, high-tech office trends today is “virtual teams”. These teams cross time, space, and cultural boundaries and do so effectively with the use of technology. This paper will look at the changing nature of work, give a definition of virtual teams, discuss the qualities needed for successful virtual team membership, and view the communication challenges existing for virtual teams in the twenty-first century.
Purpose – A new collaborative workplace is evolving which is both global and virtual. Those working in this environment are faced with two major challenges: isolation and confusion. This paper aims to look at what leaders can do to overcome these challenges. Design/methodology/approach – Building on years of experience of working on and coaching global virtual teams, the author presents ten practical guidelines for enabling such teams to perform at their best. These guidelines highlight the importance of, for example, thinking proactively about the specific conditions faced by the team, applying cultural intelligence, staying person-centric, establishing predictability, and driving for precise communications. Findings – Applying these guidelines helps teams co-create a shared workplace that is conducive to efficiency and psychological wellbeing. Originality/value – Virtual global teamwork is only going to increase in the years ahead. This paper provides a basis on which leaders in the new workplace can begin re-skilling themselves for leading at a distance.
This paper uses social interaction theory and Tuckman's team development model to report and interpret the findings of a case-based research into the forming and performance of eight internationally situated virtual project teams operating in the information technology industry. Its objective is to highlight the need to bridge the “gap” between the structural and process orientations of management and virtual team members' situational perceptions and psychological drivers (the “invisibles”). For organizations contemplating the adoption of these new organizational forms, its findings will provide a holistic framework to guide their transformation from conventional to virtual teams. Some of the issues identified here are also likely to be salient to those who are already using virtual teams.