Virtual teams, the new norm? : A study on the effects of becoming a virtual team.

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Informationssystem; Uppsala universitet/Medier och kommunikation

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has ensued a wave of work teams making the shift from the office to working entirely virtually. At the centre of this shift are the people. The people are at the heart of any team, and thus this thesis sets out to create a greater understanding of how the leaders and members of three project teams have fared with the shift from working collocated toovirtually. Three interviews consisting of one leader and two team members were conducted per team, totalling nine interviews. The empirical findings were analyzed through the lens of a theoretical framework with a focus on uncovering why, how, and what implications the effects of virtuality have on various team processes. The results show that most challenges pertain to the increased autonomy of team members created by using ICT, and that the role of leadership has been heavily affected with a clear preference for task-focused leadership with relationshipand trust-building not being deemed critical. Multiple team processes have all been affected to a greater or lesser extent, with team members finding themselves having to deal with new requirements being imposed on them as part of the shared leadership that is taking form.

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