Leading Virtual Teams.

by Arvind Malhotra, Ann Majchrzak, Benson Rosen
Academy of Management Perspectives ()


Virtual teams, whose members are geographically dispersed and cross-functional yet work on highly interdependent tasks, present unique leadership challenges. Based on our observations, interviews, and survey data, we identify six leadership practices of effective leaders of virtual teams. Specifically, we elaborate how leaders of successful virtual teams: 1) establish and maintain trust through the use of communication technology; 2) ensure that distributed diversity is understood and appreciated; 3) manage virtual work-life cycle (meetings); 4) monitor team progress using technology; 5) enhance visibility of virtual members within the team and outside in the organization; and 6) enable individual members of the virtual team to benefit from the team. These practices of virtual team leaders can be used to establish a foundation for training and developing future virtual team leaders.

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