University of Oulu

Virtual teamwork : features of effective teamwork

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Author: Männistö, Johanna1; Tervo, Nina1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Pages: 34
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Männistö; N. Tervo, 2016
Publish Date: 2016-05-03
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis


Nowadays organizations rely more and more on distance working and virtual teams. The aim of this study is to identify the characteristics of effective virtual teamwork and to provide a wide view on what a team is, how it is defined, which are the enabling factors for successful distance teamwork and what are the benefits of virtual distance teamwork.

This thesis is a qualitative study and was conducted as a systematic literature review. Data is collected both from University of Oulu Nelli portal and The University of Melbourne Discovery Database and studies up to 15 years old are approved.

Based on the results, teams are open and complex systems where the personalities, level of expertise and current cognition of the team members modify the team building, learning and working. High team resilience in virtual teams allows teams to cope through multiple tasks and is also directly connected to the outcome and effectiveness of team working.

Literature describes team learning as essential for team working, and it can be enhanced via shared understanding and communication. A good team consists of members who are willing to cope with others: all other team building blocks are unnecessary if members are not able to collaborate. The most important role of the leader is to motivate and divide clear tasks and roles to virtual team members. There are multiple benefits in virtual distance teamworking, e.g. we will show that job satisfaction and productivity may increase when work can be done regardless of time and space.

These results suggest that among other things, basic team learning, resilience and effective communication help to build trusting and effective virtual working teams. This data supports the view that it is possible for teams to work even cross-culturally without seeing each other by using only electric technology. Digitalisation enables effective communication and sharing, which in turn helps to build trust among members — even if they will never see each other face-to-face.

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Copyright information: © Johanna Männistö; Nina Tervo, 2016. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.