Purpose – This paper aims to examines why a high percentage of virtual teams fails to deliver, and considers how the problems can be overcome. Design/methodology/approach – Differentiates between virtual teams and co‐located teams, and presents ways of leading each, while stressing that both types of team require a clear, well‐founded and compelling purpose. Findings – Advances the view that, when dealing with a co‐located team, the leader can communicate purpose in a way that appeals to the hearts and minds of potential team members. With a potential virtual‐team member, in contrast, the leader must present a strong business case, clear and achievable short‐term goals, agreed principles and a visible link to the skill set of the potential team member. Practical implications – Demonstrates that the human element brings technology to life and defines its use and its impact on the world. Originality/value – Warns against developing the view that technology is a replacement for human interaction.
Human Resource Management International Digest – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 6, 2008
Keywords: Virtual work; Team working; Communication technologies; Leadership; Organizational culture