Leading a Virtual Intercultural Team. Implications for Virtual Team Leaders
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Increasing number of companies operate in the setup of teams whose members are geographically scattered and have different cultural origins. They work through access to the same digital network and communicate by means of modern technology. Sometimes they are located in different time zones and have never met each other face to face. This is the age of a virtual team leader. Virtual leadership in intercultural groups requires special skills from leaders. Many of these reflect leadership skills in standard teams. Additionally, a number of challenges appear, among which communication and cultural diversity have an important part. As team members work independently to a great extent, creating team cohesiveness and building trust need much attention. What is more, a team leader is performance manager and coach. The leader also needs to aid team members’ career development and support building networks. Cultural diversity requires particular communication skills. The leader must also be able to develop and adapt standard team processes. Finally, technology available needs to be used appropriately to support effectiveness of the team. The paper presents areas of special interest and indicates competences of a leader in a virtual intercultural team.
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