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Team Effectiveness Online

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Nicole Halls

on 18 September 2016

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Transcript of Team Effectiveness Online

Online Team Work
The challenge of moving on from university studies to becoming a professional amongst a team of colleagues has been of strong focus for both employers and students. It has also instigated inspiration as to how this transition can occur successfully. Raelin (1997) maintains that students need to merge their theoretical understanding from their studies with a practical understanding of social constructs that exist in work environments.

One practice addressing this issue is teamwork; students must work together to reach a common goal alike professionals in the workplace. An element making student teamwork complex is the challenges online university students face.

Online learning “tends to be more efficient given that time and space limitations are [minimised] compared to traditional settings” (Joo, 2012). Yet, learning through technology can also be “ impersonal, misdirected, and potentially dehumanising due to inappropriate levels of interactions.” (Joo, 2012) There is a need to investigate how student teams operate. Both from a perspective of students gaining valuable teamwork skills to transfer to a professional environment, as well as skills to maintain the use of technology in teamwork at an effective level.
Organisation and Environment
Team Design
When examining effective virtual teamwork, the variables of team design; the team composition, size of group and the task characteristics, play a pertinent part of team outcome. Specifically,
online teams, smaller size groups are more effective with communicating and sharing information in comparison to decreased participation in larger groups (Hartley, 2010). Jacques, D & Salmon (2007) state that “even in small discussion groups participants contribute unequally and there is little doubt that the scope for participation decreases exponentially as numbers increase”. In addition to team size, task characteristic impact team effectiveness.

During the
stage, task functions are being established and there is more evidence of dominant personalities and conflict among team members (Jacques & Salmon, 2007). This is particularly evident during online collaboration sessions where some group members are not as active involved in sharing information . In online collaboration, all team members participate in varied capacities however there is no individual ownership. According to Tuckman (1965) theory of group development, the
phase characteristics display task orientated team members and cohesion in the group. Rather than attributing team size to team effectiveness in virtual teams, it is imperative to focus on team characteristics. That is; teams have structure amongst the group, are semi autonomous and share a clear vision; this is vital to the
of virtual teams (Tuckman, 1965).
When considering how students prepare themselves for a professional working environment, it is essential that they practice working in a team as well as take advantage of the benefits online mediums give to students and to professionals in a business environment. In order to maintain team survival, achieve goals, and member well being online team members need to effectively consider the needs of their environment, design, process and ability to reflect and adapt. During the stages of group development members in online teams especially need to communicate consistently, reflect on team direction throughout performance, conform to norms, focus on performance, build cohesion and establish trust .
Online Teamwork
Team Effectiveness

To reflect online teams must have a shared understanding (Gibson & Cohen, 2003) of the journey and end goal to become effective as a group during the
stage. In online teamwork group members unite to form in order to discuss the individual requirements to coordinate work to achieve a common goal. In order to discuss the individual requirements that will be needed within the group, members must enable shared understanding (Gibson & Cohen, 2003). This helps forecast team behaviours and the behaviour of the group throughout the

Diversity and difference of opinions or any conflict will come forth during this time and the team wellbeing will begin to be established. Team effectiveness relies on the satisfaction and wellbeing of its members (McShane, 2011). Mutual trust will take shape as online teams begin to settle down. Encouraging active participation (Donelan, Kear & Eion, 2010, p.27) brings team cohesion and satisfies team member needs. Agreeance of roles and behaviours will form (Gibson & Cohen, 2003) as we move into the
stage. Goal Achievement, Accomplishing and completing tasks maintains the survival of online teams (McShane, 2011).

Recognizing member roles, expectations and contributions resulting from task characteristics, team processes and compositions helps online teams to identify and adapt to ensure the teams fulfillment and viability.
Organisation and Environment
Team Design
Team Process
Reflection and Adaption
Team Effectiveness

Assessment 2: Online Communication Group 4

Nicole Halls (101349500)- Reflection and Adaptation

Antony Price (ID 101278044) - Organisation and Environment

Alana Boon (ID 101311020) - Team Process

Lisa Miller (ID 9796096) - Team Design

Daneka Perry- (ID 101280214) Team Effectiveness
Review and adaptation

Although team process is a well-established factor influencing effectiveness, considering a team’s ability to reflect and adapt shifts focus from each category in the TEM to the conditions and changes specific to a unique team at one point into time. Burke (2006) states teams are increasingly forced to improve, reflect, and adapt in order to enhance their team effectiveness. As online teams face difficulties in communication brought on by their environment, it is essential that reflection on group direction and adaptation to changing needs are considered.

Consensus and agreement are formed in the team’s
stage. However it is essential that the norms developed are reviewed as environmental conditions beyond the team boundaries may redirect team needs. In the
stage “roles become functional, energy is focused on task, and structural issues are resolved” (Tuckman, 1965). As clarity is gained and groups perform under established patterns, they are at risk of oversight towards further challenges and even opportunities.

In an empirical study Weido (2011) found after virtual team members participated in reflection of process’ to the current environment, members regularly found ways to improve teamwork process. However, it is possible that too much team reflection and team adaptation compromise team performance. Tuckman (1965) maintains that orientation, testing, and dependence constitute the group process of
. Additionally the
stage is characterised by conflict and polarization around interpersonal issues (Tuckman, 1965). During these stages, constant re evaluation and reflection can lead to group member confusion, conflict; affecting team relationships and lead the team to over think processes.
Team Process
A number of development factors are considered when establishing online teams. Team norms are referred to as informal rules or expectations that relate to team communication, performance and behaviour expectations (Tuckman, 1965). Generally, these norms are developed throughout the
stages. Online teams rely on norms to lead to effective collaboration, and guide team success throughout the

Team cohesion relates directly to a group’s ability to function efficiently as a whole and can be influenced by a range of factors including team size, similarity, level of interaction and external completion or challenges. (McShane, 2011). Whilst team cohesion begins to develop through earlier stages on online team development, it’s most apparent during the

Building trust has been considered difficult due to the restrictions around communication in the online environment. Yet Blackburne (2003) presents the development of trust between members as a crucial stage for online team, as well as a challenge. By focusing on responding to members quickly, conforming to norms and focusing on performance, online teams can successfully build trust among members (Kirkman et al 2002, p. 70). A combination of norms, cohesion and trust will lead to a productive
stage where online team members work together towards project completion.

Psychological contact between team members directly affects individual expectations toward the team function and behavior of each member as an individual (Robinson, 1996)."Virtual teams are drawn together " on individual ability, knowledge and experience working towards mutual agreed outcomes that "rely heavily on technological interaction mediums " such as Skype,Email,Twitter and other forms of social media, due to geographical distance (Gudykunst, 1997) (Hofstede, 1980).

The effectiveness allowed by virtual communication mediums has a large impact on the quality and quantity of psychological contact. Virtual team environment requires a sense of developed trust built through online interaction, information exchange(Gibson & Manuel, 2003), and analysis of patterns within team interactions (Tyler & Kramer, 1996)(Hinds & Bailey, 2003) than can be achieved through online mediums, (McShane & Von Glinow, 2013) recommend that "virtual team members meet face to face early in team development phase to establish a stronger rapport with team members " Yet, virtual teams have to cope with the task context characterized by the lack of opportunity to meet face to face (Jarvenpaa & Leidner,1999).

Wilson,Strauss & McEvoy (2006) state successful outcomes & effectiveness are directly correlated with communication, coordination, mutual adjustment & common decisions to create appropriate virtual team environment. Building an effective team structure that addresses these elements requires that members consider communication to be of significant important (Malone, 2004).
" 7 out of 10 managers believe virtual teams will become increasingly prevalent in the future ",(Watkins,2013).
"66% of Multinational companies use virtual teams",(Watkins,2013).
"10% technology & 90% people = 100% success",(Watkins,2013).
"Build a team with rhythm",(Watkins,2013).
"Commit to a communication charter"(Watkins,2013).
"Clarify tasks and processes ,not just goals and rules",(Watkins,2013).
"Agree on a
shared language",(Watkins,2013).
"Clarify and track commitments"(Watkins,2013).
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Figure 1: TEAM,. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.clipartkid.com/animated-teamwork-cliparts

Figure 2: Global team. Retrieved from https://www.leadingvirtually.com/leading-virtual-teams-continues-to-be-challenging

Figure 3:Technology and people,(2013).Retrieved from https://dreamstime.com/photos-images/teamwork.html

Figure 4:Build a team with rhythm .Retrieved from https;//sourceable.net/collaboration-and-teamwork-whats-in-it-for-you/

Figure 5: Commit to communication charter. Retrieved from https://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/teamwork.html

Figure 6: Clarify tasks and processes, not just goals and rules.Retrieved from https://www.dreamtime.com/stock-image-puzzle-two-d-people-solving-together-image30989011

Figure 7: Agree on a shared language.Retrieved from https://clipartcana.com/designs/teams

Figure 8:Clarify and track commitments (2013).Retrieved from https://www.dynamixcloud.com/solutions/managedit/overview.html
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