Effectiveness of teamwork is heavily dependent on the quality of leadership. As leading virtual teams creates additional challenges for managers, the role of leadership structure becomes in many ways critical to structuring of virtual teams.
Leadership is arguably the most essential component of effective work of any kind of a team. However, the nature of interactions within virtual teams implies even stronger leadership to be in place. It should be noted that the context of leading online teams is a novelty and a “new area of expertise” (“Tips for leading virtual teams,” n.d.). In a way, leadership is synonymous to setting the rules and standards of work for a virtual team. A leader has to oversee that the overall discipline is maintained. Also, he is responsible for the team being a real team, because the risk of team-mates thinking and working independently is higher than in traditional teamwork (Mochal, 2007). Controlling the functioning of such teams is a complex task, considering that members of a team are not physically present in one place. Moreover, the quality of work of an online team depends on how well it has been structured, which is another function of a leader. He is also responsible for communicating specific types of information to the group as an entity and its participants individually (“Tips for leading virtual teams,” n.d.). He makes many important decisions, such as the content of work, delegation of responsibilities, facilitation of team members with all the necessary tools to work effectively, setting objectives, etc. In fact, one of the primary responsibilities of a leader is to ensure that the team has a common goal and to guide team members towards achievement of this goal.
Clearly, there is a wide range of decisions that a leader of a virtual team has to make in order to organize its work effectively. The primary challenge, however, consists in the structuring process itself, making team members believe in the proposed mode of interaction and the team’s goals, and executing the control function properly.
Mochal, T. (2007). 10 tips for managing virtual teams. Retrieved from HYPERLINK "http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-tips-for-managing-virtual- teams/266" http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-tips-for-managing-virtual-t eams/266
Tips for leading virtual teams. (n.d.). Retrieved from HYPERLINK "http://positivelymagazine.com/2011/11/tips-for-leading-virtual-teams/" http://positivelymagazine.com/2011/11/ …