People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 32

nicating more frequently can help mitigate this by ensuring
information is shared in some form, creating a greater number of interaction opportunities in which social information
can be shared. It also supports the team by generally reducing
uncertainty in a way that promotes team cohesiveness.9 In the
following section, we will explore technology-enabled solutions for building team trust and communication channels.

Technological Facilitators and Barriers

Due to geographical distance impacting the frequency of
face-to-face meetings for virtual team members, technology-facilitated communication becomes a critical component of project work. However, this communication is
inherently different from that which exists in an office
setting, therefore steps must be taken to ensure teams
develop effective communication strategies to achieve
optimal performance. There are two common pitfalls in
technology deployment that can derail team effectiveness.
These issues typically revolve around 1.) team member
unfamiliarity with specific communication software being
used (e.g., video conferencing, instant messaging) and 2.)
improper matching of technology to situations. Thoughtful
planning and understanding of the benefits and drawbacks
of various communication media, with an eye toward optimizing trust-building and enhancing interactions among

software. Nothing hampers the effectiveness or likelihood of
using a communication tool more than the frustration that
occurs from a lack of understanding how to use it. Some
common ways to train team members on new software include real-time orientation sessions that show walkthroughs
and allow users to ask questions, internal resources (e.g.,
Wikis or user guides) that can be referenced as refreshers or
to answer FAQs regarding the functionality of the software,
and appointing specific team members as resident experts
on the various tools.
Next, we will introduce the different types of technology
commonly used in virtual team settings and explore examples of how they enhance team performance. We focus on
two broad categories of technology: communication-focused
technology and coordination-focused technology. After a
brief discussion of the various types of technology, a case
study will be presented to underscore the importance of
consciously aligning technologies to common critical events
within the life cycle of virtual teams.

Communication-Focused Technology

32

Synchronous

Asynchronous

SYNCHRONICITY

Communication-focused technologies include a broad
range of options from those that closely imitate in-person interaction (video conferencing) to those that do
not (email) with options (instant messaging) that fall
somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
Figure 1. Categorizing Common Communication-focused Technologies
To better understand the differences among
communication-focused technologies, the
chart in Figure 1 plots the most common comIn-Person
munication-focused technologies along two
key categories: richness and synchronicity of
Video Conference
communication. Richness of communication
refers to the amount of information shared
via each communication medium. SynchronicTelephone
ity pertains to whether the communication is
most often real-time (synchronous) or delayed
Instant Messaging
(asynchronous).
Taking a deeper look at richness of communication, a key differentiator between the
various communication-focused tools pertains
to the method of communication. Text-based
communication will always be less rich than
voice or video-based communication technologies. Anyone who has ever spent too much
time trying to craft an email to sound just right
understands this firsthand. Conversely, when
Email
voice intonation and facial expressions are
added to the message, it makes it much easier
Low
High
to convey and correctly interpret the intended
message being communicated.
RICHNESS OF COMMUNICATION
Synchronicity is more straightforward, in
that it pertains to whether the communication is real-time or delayed. Communication
media that involve live sharing of information (e.g., video
team members, are essential to creating an environment
conferencing, phone calls) are critical for building trust and
for success.
impeding mistrust early in a virtual team's lifespan. More
Regardless of the communication methodologies utilized
synchronous media should be utilized for conversations that
by virtual teams, the most critical step is to ensure all team
convey a time-sensitive message as well as for those convermembers are comfortable and proficient in the respective
PEOPLE + STRATEGY



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2

From the Executive Editor
From the Guest Editor
Perspectives
Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
The Rise of Digital Team Building
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Executive Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 5
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Guest Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 7
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 9
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 10
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 11
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 12
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 13
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 14
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 15
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 17
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 18
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 19
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 20
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 21
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 23
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 24
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 25
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 26
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 27
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 28
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 29
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 31
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 32
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 33
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 34
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 35
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 37
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 38
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 39
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 40
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 41
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 43
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 44
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 45
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 47
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 48
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 49
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 50
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 51
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - The Rise of Digital Team Building
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 53
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 54
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 55
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 57
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 58
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 59
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 60
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 61
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - In First Person
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 63
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 64
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 65
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 67
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 68
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 69
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 71
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 73
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 74
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover4
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