<ul><li>When teaming virtually and most often globally, there exists many obstacles to consider before beginning your collaboration. The following slides provide crucial information to aid in the sometimes damaging effects of Influence and Political Processes in Virtual Teams. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The way team members choose to influence each other and the political processes that take place within a team have important implications for the team’s effectiveness.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Virtual Teams That Work </li></ul>
<ul><li>The positives, negatives and how to utilize them effectively </li></ul>
<ul><li> Virtual Teams That Work defines influence as “intentional attempts to affect another to feel, think, or behave in a desired fashion. </li></ul>Interaction The way in which team members interact and influence one another has a direct impact on motivation, achieving team goals, cooperation, how decisions are reached, and priority The greater the physical distance between team members, the less effective tactics will become, due to the limited feedback of body language, gestures, and eye contact. Distance Relationships Establishing relationships among team members increases the effectiveness of influences.
<ul><li>Virtual teams are more restrained and milder than traditional groups. </li></ul><ul><li>They take more of a rational form when interactions become active. </li></ul><ul><li>Tactics may be as simple as helping the team understand its self – identify. </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation </li></ul><ul><li>Assertiveness </li></ul>
<ul><li>Utilize assistance from others by combining input to reach a higher goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Gain support and full participation by acknowledging other people’s aspirations and ideals. </li></ul><ul><li>Rational Persuasion, Inspirational Appeals, Consultation, Ingratiation, Personal Appeals, Exchange, and Coalition. </li></ul><ul><li>Create enthusiasm within the team by relating to other member’s ideals and aspirations. </li></ul>
Avoid demands, threats, sanctions, and other unwarranted pressures to reduce the possibilities of conflict within the team. Assertiveness Legitimating Sanctions Pressure Upward Appeal Blocking
<ul><li>It is critical to know what is important to each team member and establish common ground. Once a rapport has been established, team members can focus on clear results by exchanging ideas, consulting before reaching a decision, and assisting one another obtain a desired goal . </li></ul><ul><li>In order for people to have a positive influence on one another, it is import to build a cohesive group committed to the goals and success of the team. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The political process in virtual teams is termed Virtual Organizational Politics (VOP). </li></ul><ul><li>The fact that teams are working together virtually does not eliminate political activities. </li></ul><ul><li>While there are cases of politics in virtual teams, the setting does create a difficult arena for many political moves. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Political moves exist in virtual environments but are not as prevalent. Various reasons exist to create this diminished political process: </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal social interactions due to geography and the task-oriented setting of virtual teams, other work takes precedence, and it is harder to gauge the political map of teams in a virtual world. It is also riskier in virtual teams to use influence and make political moves. </li></ul><ul><li>Political maneuvering is riskier than in typical organizational political settings. It’s more difficult to influence someone that is less familiar because you only interact with them online. </li></ul><ul><li>The feeling that political moves are negative to the team decreases the use of influence in virtual teams. </li></ul><ul><li>Geographical distance lowers social interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of social connections decreases influence among team members </li></ul><ul><li>Task oriented situation limits need for politics </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent records of words used in communication </li></ul><ul><li>Harder to gauge the political map </li></ul><ul><li>Central work takes precedence over virtual work. </li></ul><ul><li>virtual modes </li></ul><ul><li>traditional modes </li></ul>
<ul><li>We live in a world of diversity </li></ul>
<ul><li>When answering the question of how culture impacts team influence and politics, it is advisable to first examine “culture” itself. </li></ul><ul><li>What is Culture? </li></ul><ul><li>http://anthro.palomar.edu/culture/culture_1.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Teams That Work defines cultures as “the deeply ingrained patterns of values, perceptions, assumptions, and norms shared by members of the same group”(pg 324) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Your national culture shapes you in many ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>value systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relating to others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>motivation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each of the following cultural dimensions will impact team members’ perceptions, communication and working styles. </li></ul>
Power Distance: Effects: A team members acceptance, or expectation, of a structured team hierarchy may dictate the assertiveness of that team member. The extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally Uncertainty Avoidance: The extent to which a culture programs is members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Effects: Uncertainty Avoidance: the fear of uncertainty can paralyze a team member, making then incapable of contribution. Absolute risk acceptance can cause rash behavior by a team member to the detriment of the team as a whole. Individualism(vs. collectivism): The degree to which individuals are supposed to look after themselves or remain integrated into group, usually around the family. Effects: Individualism vs. Collectivism: Individualistic views may keep a team member for sharing knowledge that may be critical to the success of the whole. Collectivism may complete a team member to share to much information, clouding the key issues. Masculinity(vs. femininity): Simply, the distribution of emotional roles between genders. Effects: Masculine vs. Feminine: Masculine values may to drive a team to believe that the end justifies the means. The feminine values may keep a team from actually achieving its end goal by getting sidetracked on the process. Long term(vs. short term) orientation: The extent to which a culture programs its members to accept delayed gratification of their material, social, and emotional needs. Effects: Time Orientation: Long term views may minimize team member motivation to complete a project on schedule. Short term views may cause team members to take the shortest route to project completion, regardless of the long-term viability of the project solution.
<ul><li>“ Organizational culture has the potential to affect the behavior of team members through its impact on the culture of the team itself and through its impact on individual beliefs, norms, and values. “ </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations have the tendency to instill certain “beliefs and ideologies” into their employees regarding virtual team process. </li></ul><ul><li>What is accepted in the work environment on a daily basis, becomes standard for our virtual interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to realize that “although the virtual teams are a mirror image of their organizations, it is nevertheless a diluted image” </li></ul>
<ul><li>The realization that hierarchy creates resentment among coworkers has lead to a “flattening” restructure which provides for more productivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Omitting the role of an apparent “boss” connects the team members on a deeper level and creates an understanding of the necessity for collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>“ This [idea] has a direct effect on VOP by allowing all members of the team to be equally involved in decision – making processes and the sharing of power.” –Virtual Teams That Work </li></ul>
<ul><li>Virtual teams are increasingly becoming an important part of business collaboration across international borders. Thus, interacting with unfamiliar cultures becomes reality. </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual teams present real and undeniable challenges to facilitators, but they also present teams with incomparable opportunities for expanding on view points, collaboration efforts, and idea sharing. </li></ul><ul><li>The opportunity for success is insurmountable, but with it comes the potential for failure if careful consideration and planning are not a forethought. </li></ul>
<ul><li>A flat structure will place a great deal of control in the hands of the team members, requiring very little management. This may help team members feel they are contributing more and have more responsibility to complete their tasks. Infrastructures that facilitate information sharing, work planning and assignment allocation, feedback and review, information processing, decision-making, and dispute mediation, delegation and facilitation skills are just some of the issues that need to be part of the planning stage. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Research cultures prior to engaging in project. Educating on cultural do’s and don’ts may assist in transitioning from uninformed to aware. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the differences openly. Differences in cultural schedules, calendars, norms, and restrictions should be openly discussed and documented for the entire group. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid misinterpretation. Refrain from using slang words or phrases. Interpretations do not always flow over in a multicultural environment and may be misconstrued. Having interpreters may assist, but better yet, making a conscience effort to avoid colloquialisms would be best. Also, refrain from inside jokes. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand. Understanding and involving all participants equally will potentially help divert members migrating to ‘like’ members in the same culture. Even though this will not be avoided totally, it should be at the forefront of consideration. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Hopefully, with a clearer understanding of the impacts of Influence and Political Processes within virtual teams, we will eventually learn to construct cultural bridges that enable us to better cross the CULTURAL DIVIDE </li></ul>
Monica Cecilia Trevor Jeremy Sean How much do you know about other cultures? Take our quiz! http://www.fekids.com/kln/flash/DontGrossOutTheWorld.swf After completing the quiz, please log your results in our thread posted in the General Section of the Db. CHEERS TO A GREAT CLASS!