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Virtual Teams

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Virtual Teams

People Working Across Boundaries with Technology


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Just when you thought you’d mastered the art of teambuilding, they went virtual.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Globalization can create as many problems as opportunities. One big problem is figuring out how to unite people worldwide to work on projects for your company. In an age that lacked a worldwide communications net, the answer would probably be quite depressing. However, as authors Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps make clear, the modern Internet makes it quite possible for workers all over the world to collaborate. The physical location of your firm’s various experts is no longer a barrier to effective team building, be they in Dublin, Bangalore, Las Vegas or Bangkok. In fact, the authors claim that companies that fail to create effective teams across cyberspace will be left in history’s dustbin. This might be overstating the case, but getabstract recommends this book for its candor about exactly how challenging it is to create virtual teams. Still interested? If so, this book serves as an excellent primer of both theory and practice.


Why Virtual Teams Matter

When the people who developed the Internet are asked about the future of organizations, they assert that the Internet forces companies to deal with the new reality of networked human interaction. This new technology brings individuals, small groups and communities back to the center of attention. Four terms capture the truth of virtual teams: people, purpose, links and time:

  1. People fill groups of every kind and size.
  2. Purpose holds the groups together.
  3. Links give access to vast amounts of data and unprecedented possibilities for interaction.
  4. Time dominates virtual teams and includes schedules, milestones and calendars.

The Profit Motive

Virtual teams have the power to increase profits. Advantages of virtual teams include:

1. Cost Reduction

Virtual teams reduce costs and increase the time your employees have for their work. This creates a new economy of scale.

2. Shorter Cycle Times

Parallel communication is faster than serial communication. This also establishes greater trust and better exchanges of information and ideas.


About the Authors

Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps are cofounders and the directors of NetAge Inc., developers of They are considered the world’s leading experts in virtual teams and networked organizations. For more than 20 years, they have lectured, consulted and been widely published. They have also launched virtual organizations (teams) for Fortune 100 companies.

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