Fostering a Positive Experience in Virtual Teams for Distance Learners
Friday, March 11 10:35-10:55 AM
Ask any student what aspect of their online MBA program produces the most anxiety and inevitably they will share horror stories of working in virtual teams. The challenges students face in understanding the concepts embodied in the project, coordinating virtual meetings with students living in various time zones, dealing with technology, mirror the challenges that virtual team face in the business world. An estimated 8.4 million employees are members of corporate virtual teams. This is perhaps one of the largest, unprecedented changes that managers have faced in the last fifty years. Unfortunately, evidence increasingly suggests virtual teams fail more often than they succeed. This challenge affords online MBA programs the opportunity to train future virtual team managers to function effectively in virtual teams. This paper presents findings regarding trends in high-performing virtual teams in an MBA program, focusing on communication and offering faculty suggestions to foster a positive virtual team experience for students.