Structuring Virtual Teams MGT508 CA1

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Module 1 – Case

STRUCTURING VIRTUAL TEAMS

Assignment Overview

The Case Assignments for this course are tightly coordinated with the SLP and the TD. In the SLP, you will be working with a virtual team comprising several of your classmates. In the Case, you will be considering the more conceptual topics that will guide you in structuring your team and its work. Your task is to apply what you learn from preparing the Cases to the way you build your team. The exception is Module 4, where the Case involves an assessment of your team and the SLP an action plan for improvement and learning. The goal is that by the end of the course you will have had a chance to learn and practice what current management “gurus” are telling us about how to work in virtual teams, and will be in a position to analyze how effective these practices are.

Case Assignment

Arguably the trickiest part of building and maintaining an effective virtual team is the task of balancing “togetherness” and “apartness.” Some insight was given to this question in the background reading. Now read an additional piece, which expands on this theme:

Mapping out the creative process and work design approach. Retrieved from http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/46/07879711/0787971146.pdf

After considering the material in this reading as well as the background readings and any other research material you choose to use, reflect on how a virtual team best addresses the balance between togetherness and apartness. Specifically, you will want to think about how the work in virtual teams is designed as well as how leadership is handled. For example:

  • What are the options for work design and leadership of virtual teams?
  • How do task requirements and team characteristics affect the choices of work design and leadership (such as rotating, etc.)? Be specific and give examples if appropriate.
  • Make an assessment of the effectiveness of the structures/practices covered by the readings in this module for virtual teaming. (In other words, do they work, or are the authors of the readings hopelessly out of touch with reality?)

Assignment Expectations

Your paper (which should be from 4 to 5 pages), will be evaluated using the following five (5) criteria:

  • Assignment-Driven Criteria (Precision and Breadth): Does the paper fully address all assignment expectations? Are the concepts behind the assignment addressed accurately and precisely using sound logic? Does the paper meet minimum length requirements?
  • Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking and Depth): Does the paper demonstrate graduate-level analysis, in which information derived from multiple sources, expert opinions, and assumptions has been critically evaluated and synthesized in the formulation of a logical set of conclusions? Does the paper address the topic with sufficient depth of discussion and analysis?
  • Business Writing (Clarity and Organization): Is the paper well written (clear, developed logically, and well organized)? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are section headings included in all papers? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the assignment, or is justification/support instead conveyed through excessive use of direct quotations?
  • Effective Use of Information (Information Literacy and References): Does the paper demonstrate that the student has read, understood and can apply the background materials for the module? If required, has the student demonstrated effective research, as evidenced by student’s use of relevant and quality (library?) sources? Do additional sources used in paper provide strong support for conclusions drawn, and do they help in shaping the overall paper?
  • Citing Sources: Does the student demonstrate understanding of APA Style of referencing, by inclusion of proper end references and in-text citations (for paraphrased text and direct quotations) as appropriate? Have all sources (e.g., references used from the Background page, the assignment readings, and outside research) been included, and are these properly cited? Have all end references been included within the body of the paper as in-text citations?

Turn in your 4- to 5-page essay by the end of the module.

course material Module 1

Required Reading

Edmondson, A. C. (2012). Teamwork on the fly. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from http://hbr.org/2012/04/teamwork-on-the-fly/ar/1

Malhotra, A., Majchrzak, A., and Rosen, B. (2007) Leading virtual teams. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(1), 60-70.

Mapping out the creative process and work design approach. Retrieved from http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/46/07879711/0787971146.pdf

Pullan, Penny. (2016). Virtual leadership: practical strategies for getting the best out of virtual work and virtual teams. [Books24x7 version] Available in the Trident Online Library.

Optional Reading

Falconer, J. (n.d.) 10 free tools for collaboration. Lifehack. Retrieved from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/10-free-tools-for-collaboration.html

The Simplex Process: A robust creative problem-solving process. (2007) Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCT_10.htm

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