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The article, Virtual there, was written by Alison Overholt on February 28, 2002. The article focuses on Virtual teams and how they can be used to offer businesses solutions. The writer uses an example of breast-cancer diagnosis to illustrate the benefits that can be accrued from virtual teams (Overholt, 2002) This paper evaluates the article.
Why the writer chose breast-cancer diagnosis as an example
Breast cancer has of late become a global concern as men and women suffer. There are numerous cases of breast cancer each with its own characteristics and diagnosed differently. Specialists in the field have also increased. The writer notes that in most cases doctors are willing to offer medication that they are aware of, but since breast cancer takes different forms, then a doctor may offer medication that is not the most effective for a certain condition.
When there is web interaction with other physicians and a review of past successful cases, through virtual teams, doctors will be in a position to offer better medication. Secondly the patient will understand the medication he gets its side effects and probably communicate with another medicated patient on the same.
The example was used to explain the benefits that can be accrued from using virtual teams. The choice of breast-cancer diagnosis was triggered by the effects that it has on modern life (Overholt, 2002).
Advantages of virtual teams
The writer brings out a number of advantages in the article. The most dominant advantage is information and knowledge sharing. Virtual reality works across time, space and geographical area, thus information or experience in a certain area can be shared to improve services in another organization currently facing a similar issue.
Information is power, thus when the systems are adopted, a company gets access to quality information it can use for informed decisions. Other than getting information, the information is real-time information. Updated information is crucial for decision making in the fast-changing business environments (Grenny, 2010).
Virtual teams can be adopted as a cost saving strategy. This is because experts or employees will not have to travel across nations searching for information-making. Information can be gotten by a click of a button. Operational costs are saved in teams of time, travelling and accommodation costs and reduced cost of research and development.
When a company have information about an issue it’s facing, it is able to develop alternatives and knowledge for decision-making. This results to improved quality, service delivery, and customer satisfaction (Driskell, Radtke & Salas, 003).
Suggestions for managing this virtual team
The virtual team discussed in the article is likely to suffer from lack of motivation. Physicians need to be self motivated to deliver results. One way of motivating team members is by offering a token pay every time certain work or experience of a member has been used successively. This will motivate them work harder.
Before a certain team member is absorbed, he or she should be vetted for excellence and professionalism. This can be done through verifying his qualification and experience. This will assist in building trust and confidence among members.
Virtual teams should not be used to undermine the benefits of research. They should be conducted alongside research to offer rich information and improvements on different areas (Ebrahim, Ahmed & Taha, 2009).
Businesses are using virtual teams to share information across time, space, and geographical area. This has resulted to better decision making and improvements of services. The method however faces a challenge in that its members lack motivation and trust among themselves.
Driskell, J., Radtke, P., & Salas, E. (2003). Virtual Teams: Effects of Technological Mediation on Team Performance. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 7(4), 297-323. doi:10.1037/1089-2618.104.22.1687.
Ebrahim, N., Ahmed, S., & Taha, Z. (2009). Virtual Teams: a Literature Review. Australian Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 3(3), 2653-2669. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.
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Grenny, J. (2010). Virtual Teams. Leadership Excellence, 27(5), 20. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
Overholt, A. (2002 February 28). Virtual There? Fast Company, 56, 1-5. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/44596/virtually-there?page=0,4