Collaboration in Virtual Teams: How to Make Virtual Collaboration Work


4 August 2018 12:50

Collaboration in Virtual Teams: How to Make Virtual Collaboration Work

The purpose of this study was to investigate how a virtual team interact, and how they make the virtual collaboration work.

Through a case study of a Norwegian technology company, we have studied how collaboration in a virtual team with multiple team memberships work. Our findings show that to make collaboration in a virtual team work there needs to be trust, psychological safety, shared team identity, the right corporate culture and facilitation.

This study contributes to the team literature by showing that the way virtual teams are identified may need an update, due to the rapid technological development in recent years. Furthermore, it shows how a modern company is using the latest virtual tools to interact virtually and what factors they find most important to make the virtual collaboration work. 

The practical implications of our research are that virtual collaboration and virtual teams have several advantages such as flexibility for the employees to work remotely, flexibility for the company to hire employees with the right competence regardless of their geographical location, ability to keep existing employees and reduce cost related to travelling and hiring. Despite these advantages there are some challenges that need to be taken in to account before implementing virtual teams and virtual interaction, like isolation, different time zones, and loss of micro interactions. Potentially there are many advantages for collaboration in virtual teams, but it requires a lot of effort from the management and is not suitable for everyone.

CIBIVICI: Marit Heiene and Sondre Godvik Olsen