Using a Simulation to Explore the Challenges of Communicating in a Virtual Team
Management and Entrepreneurship
VIRTUAL TEAMS have become an integral part of many organizations because of an increase in corporate restructuring, competition, and globalization (Baker, 2002). Grosse (2002) defined a virtual team as one that conducts its work almost entirely through electronic technology. Virtual team members, who are typically dispersed both geographically and organizationally, rarely meet face to face while relying on technology for task-related communication (Matthews-Joy & Gladstone, (2000). Because communication is often seen as the most important factor in coordinating work among team members (Ancona & Caldwell, 1992; Dougherty, 1992; Ebadi & Utterback, 1984; Pinto, Pinto, & Prescot, 1993), effective communication is vital for virtual teams (Baker, 2002). However, "in virtual teams, separated by geographical distance, the process of developing a shared understanding is more challenging" (Hinds & Weisband, 2003, p. 21). In particular, such teams must address three challenges to accomplish their goals. After describing these challenges, this article presents an exercise in solving a murder mystery that instructors can use to engage students in virtual teamwork.
Business Communication Quarterly
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