The case studies the presentation of how a member of five years for the newly merged Goldberg, Choo, and McKay Associates faces the challenges of virtual team working. The study is focused on the actions of members of the Shipping Industry Accounting Team that caused discontent of the company and misunderstanding between members.
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Before merging with two other companies in order to shape Goldberg, Choo, and McKay Associates, Mckay and open offices all over the United States, Sanderson and Smith Associates was a midsize firm. Four people from different states formed The Shipping Industry Accounting Team to joint monthly reports, “leveraging the synergy of their collective knowledge” (Ziegler 88).
According to McShane and Glinow, “teams are groups of two or more people who are interacting, influencing each other, and existing to fulfill a purpose or common goal in a workplace” (226). Teams are usually more effective than one person in the case when they have to perform intricate tasks (for instance, in the building industry).
I consider this is virtual team since the communication between members was implemented by the Internet and phone. In my opinion, creating such a team was necessary in order to connect all offices, providing them timely with significant information and making decisions that would suit all branches of the company.
However, some location and communication challenges appear in performing this task as none of the members participated in a virtual team before. The team effectiveness model suggests the following five C’s model of team competency and problems (Nollkamper 135):
- Cooperating means accommodating others and sharing resources. In the Goldberg, Choo, and McKay Associates, the work ethic was not identified that created dissatisfaction between members. There was a great time waste when they resolved different documentation procedures. The use of diverse codebooks (everybody except Bred uses email) along with poor medium problem (the requirement of unified submission) caused communication difficulties.
- Coordinating. “Task interdependence needs direction and leadership” that was missing (Kirkman et al. 70).
- Communicating suggests the correct and timely understanding of ideas and tones that might be misinterpreted in the email. It was hard to coordinate due to cohesion and lack of certain norms (Brad infrequently answered emails; members of the team never met each other).
- Comforting was not present in the team. According to Kurtzberg, “tolerance, optimism, and creativity are the primary tools of support for the team” (84).
- Conflict resolving that was not presented complicated working environment.
“The secret of team success is that there is no “I” in it,” claims Leonard (370). Nevertheless, the strong point is that these four people tried a new form of firm organization. Despite the fact that merging was not wholly successful, they might improve their performance following five C’s model.
Supposing those four people continue to work together as a virtual team, I would recommend establishing a project aim in order to succeed in communication between members and the overall success of teamwork.
They also could overcome challenges by appointing a team leader to control and manage responsibilities, arranging video conferences and utilizing other technologies, and asking every team member to ponder over the company’s content such as business strategy and current development. Besides, the creation of a basecamp project to share information would be useful for team effectiveness as well.
To put everything in a nutshell, the change of organization form of a company has caused poor performance. The company can overcome the lack of efficiency by determining appropriate goals for communication.
Kirkman, Bradley L., Benson Rosen, Cristina B. Gibson, Paul E. Tesluk, and Simon O. McPherson. “Five Challenges to Virtual Team Success: Lessons from Sabre, Inc.” Academy of Management Executive 18.3 (2002): 67-79. Print.
Kurtzberg, Terri R. Virtual Teams Mastering Communication and Collaboration in the Digital Age, Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2014. Print.
Leonard, Edwin C. Supervision: Concepts and Practices of Management. 12th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western, 2013. Print.
McShane, Steven Lattimore, and Mary Ann Young Glinow. Organizational Behavior: Emerging Knowledge and Practice for the Real World. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2013. Print.
Nollkamper, Pamela Everett. Fundamentals of Law Office Management: Systems, Procedures and Ethics. 5th ed. New York: Delmar, Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.