Communication in Virtual Teams

Question 1
A) One example of a cultural dimension inculcates individualism-collectivism context (Engleberg & Wynn, 2013). For individualistic societies, the aims of every person within the team receive considerable importance over the aims of the group. Usually, persons receive incentives for performing autonomously in instances such as formulating individual plans and accomplishing individual goals. Usually North American and Western societies practice individualism. Collectivist societies, on the other hand, emphasize on the needs and goals of the whole team instead of the individual. It is common especially in South American societies. As such, this team is more likely to embrace an individualist approach based on the inclusion of American and French members. Another dimension involves high context-low context (Engleberg & Wynn, 2013). High context implies using certain cues in order to determine appropriate behavior. Contrastingly, low context implies using verbal content to disseminate information. This team will involve a direct style of communicating based on the number of Western and American members within the group.

B) Based on the cultural diversity of this virtual team, various issues in project management possess the capability to affect team communications. One issue with respect to virtual teams involves project completion. An advantage that face-to-face or traditional teams possess over virtual teams involves the ability to complete projects on time (PMI, 2008). However, this is rather difficult for virtual teams. Groups such as this one tend to compromise project completion. This is in accordance with the issue of distance. Since the team comprises members of different and foreign countries, the issue of distance is likely to compromise project completion as team members are not under surveillance. Furthermore, distance possess the capability of affecting the timing of the project and as such, may affect the team from working on other scheduled projects due to the delay experienced from ignoring the project timing. Another issue involves poor leadership. Articulating management in such a team is hard due to the different locations of group members. Thus, poor leadership will lead to inconsistencies and conflicts within the teams. This is because team members may decide to work individually due to the lack of a strong figurehead. As such, working individually may result in conflict among team members based on the prejudiced opinions and ideas of each member. By supporting individual goals that are do not associate to the team, members may create disputes, cause friction, cease from working with each other and default in completing the project on time.

Question 2
Indeed, successful communications among team members involve the relationship between encoding, sending and decoding messages communicated across team members (PMI, 2008). Nonetheless, the introduction of noise in this process affects the effectiveness of relaying information due to its influence on communications especially in video conferencing. As such, various types of noise possess the ability to induce such impacts. One type of noise comprises noise distractions. Noise distractions usually comprise background noises within the act of communication. This is usually common in paraphernalia associated with telecommunication, for instances, telephones. Concerning this case, video conferencing faces a threat from noise distractions. Such noise distractions affect the dissemination of messages across virtual teams. This influences considerably on communication, which leads to misunderstandings and wrongful deciphering of information especially from members speaking unofficial languages. Another type of noise affecting communication through video conferencing involves ambiguity in words. Ambiguity poses a negative impact on communicating across virtual teams. This arises mainly from language differences among the culturally diverse members within the virtual team. Furthermore, words may become ambiguous due to background noises. Ambiguity leads to miscomprehension of communicated messages, and as such, it complicates decoding of the messages. Another type of noise comprises unsuited electronic equipment. This implies equipment that does not support the model of the video conferencing equipment. This is usually a significant reason for background noises within video conferencing. Usually, video conferencing equipments require compatible devices that expel background noises. As such, incompatibility among such equipments leads to distortion of information across the virtual team.

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