Virtual Teams Inquiry LO7250

John Zavacki (
Tue, 7 May 96 08:52:59 UT

Replying to LO7208 -- wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly with Hal here and have some further comments following
the quote:

>>Current working definition:
>> A virtual team is a group of people with common purpose
>> communicating across boundaries on interdependent tasks.
>Well, this definition does not seem to distinguish *virtual* teams
>from any other organization. *All* organizations are:
> - groups of people
> - with common purposes
> - communicating across boundaries
> - on interdependent tasks
>The term *virtual*, unless you're just using it as a buzz word to gain
>interest, would seem to require a steep decrease in "face to face"
>communication and/or some electronic infrastructure or "world" within
>which the work is done and werein the one contributor's work is
>immediately visible to others in this "world" construct.

Other good expample of virtual teams are given in Goldman, Nagel, and
Preiss (Agile Competition and Virtual Organizations). Check the NY Times
Magazine Section of a few months back on Iris (the people who brought you
Lotus Notes). They work in the same building but very rarely see each
other physically. Additional hallmarks of "virtual" teams and other
virtual organizations include the ability to reform with little or not
effort (as in the Agile Web of manufacturers), to resize and reconfigure
to met rapidly changing market demands,etc.

The concept of virtual, although it's become a buzzword, should not be
trivialized. It's a major part of the competitive challenge.


John Zavacki The Wolff Group 900 James Avenue Scranton, PA 18510 Phone: 717-346-1218 Fax: 717-346-1388

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