The paper "Communication, Structuration and Accommodation Theories" is a good example of management coursework. The growth and development of new technologies have had a great impact on the way people communicate as individuals and also in groups. In the present workplace, persons are increasingly turning to technologies such as voice mail, fax, teleconferencing in management. The use and ease of access to new media technologies have led to the rise of a new paradigm in management; virtual teams. Virtual teams have been established to be an effective means of management in that they enable the exchange of information between persons of different skills who may not necessarily be in the same geographical location (de Janasz, Dowd & Schneider, 2012).
However virtual teams are faced with myriad challenges due to a lack of knowledge on the theory of enhancing team effectiveness in such a setup. This paper will thus seek to analyze and reflect upon these aspects of theory and how they may be used for better outcomes in virtual team situations. Discussion of Academic Literature All teams usually call for a high level of coordination if they to achieve their desired outcomes.
In the new shift to computer-mediated technologies, managing of virtual teams becomes even more complex for the manager. The most important aspect of managing a team is communication (Maznevski & Chudoba, 2010). While there are many theories which explain communications there are not many which deal with communications in a virtual team environment. Communications theories are diverse and varied in their manner of application. This coupled with the instance of the novelty of the concept of virtual teams makes it even harder to analyze communications effectiveness in teams.
Theories such as the social exchange theory, structuration theory and communication accommodation theory have been used to explain group interaction. Nevertheless, these theories may also be used in the instance of communications in virtual teams (Jehn, 1995). Studies in social exchange posit that self-interest is the major force which drives the development of relationships and hence enhances communication. Through self-interest, people tend to be more interested in communicating and this enhances interaction (Tyran, et al, 2012). This is akin to economic exchange in which persons will be rewarded according to what they have offered.
Structuration theories assert that organizations and groups create structures of governance in terms of resources and rules. It is through these structures of power that that decision making and implementation give life to the group and organizational objectives (Jordan & Troth, 2004). Communication accommodation theories assert that there will be an adjustment of communication in groups either in divergence or convergence in order to suit power or social relationships. Communications in a team is a key component that determines whether the team will be successful in achieving its outcomes or not.
A study conducted by (de Janasz, Dowd & Schneider, 2012) established that social exchange theories are just as effective in virtual teams as in other traditional teams. Self-interest in virtual teams is related to the need for enhancing the performance of the individual. Through communicating in virtual teams self-interest is transformed as people rely on each other in developing and completing their own assigned tasks for self-fulfilment (Maznevski & Chudoba, 2010). Jehn, (1995) asserted that accommodation theories of communication work best in terms of virtual teams since they enhance the humanness of the communication.
It is critical that the manager of a virtual team has the ability to adjust communication in order to fit the sensibilities of all members of the group. Managers that did not adjust communication for the social and cultural diversity of the group will tend to have problems as social and power relationships break down (Tyran, et al, 2012). Related to the concept of accommodation in communication is the need for structuration. Structures in organizations are the pillars which ensure that the group attains its goals.
Communication of the structures and resources and who has control over these is critical for the functioning of virtual teams (Jordan & Troth, 2004). While accommodation is important structured frameworks make for better outcomes due to clarity of roles and better communication.