A critique report of a selected research article: Virtual teams and project managementHunsaker, PL. & Hunsaker, JS., 2008, ‘Virtual teams: a leader’s guide’, Team Performance Management, Vol. 14 No. 1/2, pp. 86-101IntroductionThis article is cognizant of the extensive dynamics which have characterized the modern business environment mostly as a result of increased globalization and competition. In this regard, enhancements in information and communication technology have been central in enabling more drastic changes than those in recent decades which has generated tasks which are increasingly dynamic and complex. It is against the backdrop of these changes that businesses all around the world have evolved into becoming more adaptive and flexible.
This has brought forth the development of virtual teams as organizing work units. Despite the continued contradictions in the definition of the term virtual team, this report will adopt the definition forwarded by Malhotra et. al. (cited by Hunsaker and Hunsaker (2008, p. 87) who perceived virtual teams as groups of co-workers who are both geographically and/or organizationally dispersed whose assemblage is achieved through the utility of a combination of information and telecommunication technologies with the sole purpose of accomplishing an organizational task.
Nonetheless, this latter development has been subjected to widespread analysis and research which forms the foundation of this critique report. Against this backdrop, this report will provide a critical perspective of the facts about virtual teams in project management as evidenced in the work by Hunsaker and Hunsaker (2008). Virtual teams; a management paradoxThis article has forwarded different merits and demerits of virtual teams as expressed by different scholars and research bodies. One of the advantages expressed in this article is that virtual teams they are central in permitting institutions to increasingly have access to most competent and qualified individuals to undertake a particular task.
This is often in disregard of their location. Additionally, virtual teams have been credited for facilitating different organizations to formulate and implement swift responses to elevated competition and are also key in the provision of the much needed flexibility to the individuals and collectives whose work is based at home or are on the road (Hunsaker & Hunsaker, 2008, p. 87). Nonetheless, it is a feeling in this report that the need to look for increased competence and qualification of individuals to undertake a certain task who are dispersed across a wide geographical location might compromise the much needed collaboration and trust between the team members.
This is mostly apparent when individuals come from different cultural backgrounds which are bound to generate conflicting approaches to issues. This is best epitomized by the individualistic vs. collective cultural backgrounds of the team members. In this case, a Canadian team member (individualistic culture) might feel free and confident in writing a direct and sincere email giving details of a bad phenomenon in the working nature of the members, even going to the extent of outlining specific individuals in the team who have contributed to this phenomenon.
On the contrary, this approach can be perceived as being impolite by a Japanese team member (collective culture) who might view it as being arrogant and impolite.