Management

Management
Patterson emphasizes the importance of face-to-face meetings with co-workers, yet in today’s work environment communication is increasingly conducted over the Internet. (Here we sit in our virtual classroom!)
What are the benefits and problems with communicating with co-workers over the Internet? Can the problems be avoided or overcome? How (use specific examples)?
As technology continues to evolve, it is becoming more common to communicate with business partners, co-workers and experts over the Internet. Viral communication is beneficial because the emphasis is not on time and distance barriers. Clawson (2012) indicates how the reality of business today requires the use of virtual communication. In some form, virtual communication offers many advantages; however, in this discussion post I will also analyze the important of face-to-face meetings. The primary benefit with communicating with co-workers over the internet is that you can transfer information between parties far more rapidly than can be done face-to-face. For example, if I was working on a project with a co-worker and she needed my assistance on our organizations budget, it would be far easier to e-mail her a direct copy of my notes rather than to take the time to verbally explain it to her. By emailing her directly, I can ensure that we are on the same page and it can be done within a matter of minutes. Also, an aIDitional benefit of communicating over the internet is equal participation. In most face-to-face setting there are usually individuals who display dominant personalities. These individuals will generally direct the conversation in a way that best appeases them. However, over the interest, it eliminates such power differences by allowing for equal input.
The primary problems associated with communicating with co-workers over the internet are technical and logistical problems (Gudykunst, 2004). These problems cannot be avoided because they tend to be unexpected. For example, what do you do when your server is down? You panic and are forced to seek aIDitional help. This can be very frustrating and time-consuming. In order to best prepare for these problems, it is best to always have a back-up plan. For example, I make it my objective to continuously back-up all of my important documents to my USB drive. This is to ensure that I am prepared in case I encounter computer or software problems. In aIDition, oftentimes co-workers lack the skills needed to effectively navigate the technology in a virtual environment. As a result, it is important to have someone in your organization that has training and is considered a technological expert.
References:
Clawson, J. G. (2012). Level three leadership: Getting below the surface (5th Ed.). Upper SaIDle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Gudykunst, W. G. (2004). Bridging Differences: Effective Intergroup Communication (4th Ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp.12–17.

Author: Patti Besuner student 2
Date: Monday, June 25, 2012 12:52:52 PM EDT
Subject: Discussion – Week 6
Patterson emphasizes the importance of face-to-face meetings with co-workers, yet in today’s work environment communication is increasingly conducted over the Internet. (Here we sit in our virtual classroom!)
What are the benefits and problems with communicating with co-workers over the Internet? Can the problems be avoided or overcome? How (use specific examples)?
This post will aIDress the benefits and issues specific to virtual teams. Virtual teams are comprised of team members that are dispersed across more than one physical location (Ebrahim, Ahmed, & Taha, 2008). This is important because large companies have reported that in the near future, approximately 80 percent of teams will be virtual teams since they are more efficient at lower cost for problem solving and goal achievement (Ebrahim et al., 2008; Hoch & Kozlowski, 2012; Scholtes, Joiner, & Stribel, 2010). Primarily reliant on electronic information and communication strategies, virtual teams require an easy, fast, efficient internet-media infrastructure in order to be successful (Ebrahim et al., 2008).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Teams
A distinct advantage of virtual teams is the ability for highly competent experts to converse across time and geography (Ebrahim et al., 2008; Scholtes et al., 2010). Other advantages include staffing flexibility, the ability to engage heterogeneous resources, less travel costs, diverse team member experiences and exposure, rapid decision making turnaround, decreased product time-to-market, a competitive advantage, and optimal opportunity for creativity (Ebrahim et al., 2008; Hoch & Kozlowski, 2012; Siebdrat, Hoegland, & Ernst, 2009). Disadvantages can include the need for complex media technology, decreased ability to monitoring team activities, team member anonymity, less team cohesiveness, less work satisfaction, mistrust among team members, lack of cooperation, goal commitment concerns, language and culture differences, meeting coordination issues, and difficulty achieving teamwork and conflict management (Ebrahim et al., 2008; Hoch & Kozlowski, 2012; Siebdrat et al., 2009).
Overcoming Challenges
Virtual teams, without any face-to-face contact have been reported to be particularly challenging in hierarchical organizations as well as for team leaders to motivate members and facilitate dynamics (Hoch & Kozlowski, 2012). Structural supports and routines need to be in place to optimize team connectivity (Hoch & Kozlowski, 2012). More time and effort is required of team leaders (Hoch & Kozlowski, 2012). Effective team leader behaviors include continuous feedback, periodic and prompt communication, a personal interest and understanding of team members, clarification of role responsibilities and authority, and a consist attitude throughout the project (Ebrahim et al., 2009). Some specific examples to overcome challenges include periodic face-to-face meetings, team performance rewards, e-mentoring for virtual team leaders, or a shared team leadership approach in order to foster interconnectivity among team members, facilitate trust, cohesion and commitment (Hoch & Kozlowski, 2012).
References
Ebrahim, N. A., Ahmed, S., & Taha, Z. (2008). Virtual teams: A literature review. [Unpublished manuscript], Department of Engineering, Design, and Manufacture, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Hoch, J. E., & Kozlowski, S. W. J. (2012). Leading virtual teams: Hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0030264
Scholtes, P. R., Joiner, B. L., & Stribel, B. J. (2010). The team handbook (3rd Ed.). MiIDleton, WI: Advertisers Press, Inc.
Siebdrat, F., Hoegland, M., & Ernst, H. (2009, Summer). How to manage virtual teams. MIT Sloan Management Review, 63-86. Retrieved from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/files/2009/06/8412f42034.pdf

Author: LaTrecia Thomas student 3
Date: Monday, June 25, 2012 12:52:52 PM EDT
Subject: Discussion – Week 6
Patterson emphasizes the importance of face-to-face meetings with co-workers, yet in today’s work environment communication is increasingly conducted over the Internet. (Here we sit in our virtual classroom!)
What are the benefits and problems with communicating with co-workers over the Internet? Can the problems be avoided or overcome? How (use specific examples)?
Week 6 Discussion Main Post: Interpersonal Intelligence and Listening
The benefits of communicating with co-workers over the internet offer the convenience of sending information and receiving feedback instantaneously as well as conducting other innovative tasks, which in turn has proven to be cost effective as traditional organizations transform to modern ones (Claws