How Virtual are Virtual Teams? Review of Selected Definitions and Measurements of the Virtuality
People nowadays very often work from home or different business sites and can build teams of individuals based in many different locations, sometimes continents apart that have never met each other face to face but cooperate thanks to communication technologies. Such teams are known as virtual teams. It is rare to meet the teams that are not virtual at least to some extent (Kirkman & Mathieu, 2005). What is surprising is the fact that there is no agreement among researchers on how to define virtuality nor how to measure it. Because the phenomenon of virtual teams is very promising from both practical and theoretical perspectives, the aims of this article are following: to compare definitions of virtual teams, to check how virtuality was measured in selected empirical studies. Also, to present results of my empirical research on 206 individuals with two different measures of virtuality (distance between team members and a number of face-to-face meetings). In conclusions, virtuality as a feature of any team is presented, and researchers are encouraged to include virtuality dimension in the wider research on the teams. (original abstract)
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