Leadership with Virtual Teams:
Leading a virtual team is difficult because of behavioral invisibility since it is difficult to observe team behavioral dynamic. Most virtual teams will tend to verge on the self-managing approach with equal parts leadership; where power, authority, and ownership are distributed among the members. A leader is important because it creates a team dynamic that focuses on goal completion. A Finnish review article states that virtual leaders have four main challenges to bypass when directing a team: trust, communication, distance and time, and diversity. Since teams are on a time deadline and normally thrown together quickly it is important for the leader to find ways to compensate. The most effective ways to build trust are through face to face interaction that will facilitate good communication as well. The leader will also have to deal with the problem of members living in different time zones so they will not have the ability to communicate at the same time. Since the members will have different factors such as cultural or working practices the leader will have to design workshops around their team diversity.
With so many challenges why should there be virtual teams? An article in Academia wanted to state all the positives that could come from such teams. The virtual team will benefit from s reducing office-space costs, removing the physical boundaries, availability to form new partnerships without considering location, competency optimization and efficiency of project
Since so there are many factors that the leader needs to overcome, an article in the Journal of Applied Business Research states that team leaders should focus on task achievement, individual team members’ needs and team cohesion, which all influence
relationship quality either directly or indirectly. The task achievement is measured in performance output so it is more based on productive data. When analyzing the individual team members’ needs the leader needs to understand the virtual work can be isolating and need to maintain communication with the members.