Strengthening Identification with the Team in Virtual Teams: The Leaders' Perspective
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The number of virtual teams is increasing in today's workplaces. In virtual teams, the members can have different cultural backgrounds, they often work in different countries and are professionals in their own fields. In addition, as such diverse and dispersed teams communicate mainly through communication technology this raises the challenge for the team leader of how to unify the team and get the members to identify themselves with the team. This qualitative study focuses on four virtual team leaders and their attempts to strengthen the team members' identification with the team through computer-mediated communication. The results show four different tactics employed in enhancing identification with the team: catering for the individual, giving positive feedback, bringing out common goals and workings and talking up the team activities and face-to-face meetings. The roles of organizational change and technology in identification with virtual teams are also discussed.
Keywordscommunication technology computer-mediated communication identification team identity team leader virtual team
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