Technology Factors in Virtual Teams Leading to Conflict Essay

Technology Factors in Virtual Teams Leading to Conflict

Thesis Statement and Introduction

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Virtual Teams ( VTs ) are group of persons with a common end that are separated geographically and pass on thru the usage of engineering ( Pazos, 2012 ) . Virtual squads open up a whole new universe of possible grounds for struggles and challenges to conflict declaration. Understanding the factors that lead to struggles, the communicating methods and the duty of Human Resources ( HR ) or the 3rd party in conflict declaration is of import to be able to develop effectual apprehension of conflict declaration in practical squads.

Background of Research

The displacement to blandish organisations, cost economy steps, globalisation ( Germain and McGuire, 2014 ) , and the promotion of engineering has led to the growing of the monolithic usage of VTs. Harmonizing to Penarroja, Orengo, Zornoza, and Hernandez, ( 2013 ) , as squads become more practical there is an increasing negative consequence of collaborative behaviors and squad trust. Many researches have correlated that struggle affect the public presentation of VTs in footings of diminishing it ( Ayoko, Konrad and Boyle, 2012 ; Pazos, 2012 ; Moreno, Navarro, Zornoza and Ripoll, 2009 ) . As a consequence of the really fast growing of the VTs use, these squads are treated are regular face-to-face squads in footings of direction, this has caused legion struggles and an increased concentration on research on this subject ( Shin, 2005 ) .

Dain et. Al. ( 2012 ) argue that the necessities of squad edifice are still at that place but globalisation and engineering are the new dimensions which is doing it harder for directors. The three normally discussed points in current researches on struggle declaration in practical squads are trust, cultural diverseness and communicating medium or the engineering responsible for set uping communicating.

Comparison of Different Theories

It is extremely likely that squad members in a practical squad do non cognize each other. In this sort of state of affairs it is possible that squads may non success if they do non swear each other, but the members are non cognizant of each other’s abilities and failing populating the members with no foundation to construct trust. Germain and McGuire ( 2014 ) introduce the construct ofSwift trust. It is a short term trust that is built on the foundation of blind trust. Blind trust, every bit bad as it sounds, is an indispensable factor doing practical squad work and avoid struggles at the start of the undertaking and acquire things departures.

The 2nd point is cultural diverseness. Stahl, Maznevski, Voigt and Jonsen ( 2010 ) have stated that cultural diverseness in squad is both an plus and liability. It is the ability of the squad to pull off cultural diverseness is cardinal in avoiding struggles. This point shall merely be lightly discussed on this paper as it reasonably immense subject in itself.

The 3rd common point is the engineering itself. As Drouin, Bourgault, and Gervais ( 2010 ) province that: “a figure of surveies demoing that computer-mediated communicating may be associated with an addition in internal struggle ( p. 6 ) .” Lyons, Priest, Wildman, Salas, and Carnegie ( 2009 ) add that it is due to the increased opportunities of misunderstanding.

A great trade of documents on practical squads talk about avoiding struggle but harmonizing to Pazos ( 2012 ) says that aside from committedness to ends, an active engagement in struggle declaration leads to a higher public presentation.

Ayoko, Konrad and Boyle ( 2012 ) province that undertaking. “VTs managed their struggle utilizing mediation, apology, accounts, positive support, and feedback seeking behaviours ( p. 172 ) .” In their work the wordmediationis being used interchangeably with conflict declaration. They besides talk about that this sort of system must be available to the VTs. Shin ( 2005 ) introduces this construct through two distinguishable system fitted to the demands for both conflict declaration and mediation. He introduces the Virtual Negotiation System ( VNS ) which most closely matches struggle declaration since it includes the five struggle manners ( Competition, Avoidance, Compromise, Accommodation and Collaboration ) ; and Virtual Mediation System ( VMS ) which is for mediation. In both of this systems the 3rd party can besides be geographically dispersed.

Main treatment

Trust is considered a large constituent on all relationships, whether it is personal relationship or a on the job relationship. It is built overtime that is based on a person’s appraisal of other person’s behaviour ( Tseng and Yeh, 2013 ) . In VTs this is non possible because frequently all or some of the members of the squad are new. Sing Tuckman’s Group Development Stages ( Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing ) , will ever convey the groups back to the ramping stage every clip a new member is added. In fact Harvey, Novicevic, and Garrison ( 2004 ) , add that it happens in VTs within the clip frame they are working non merely when the squads are freshly created for a new undertaking. In the universe of concern, this means holds and in the position of struggle declaration more struggles will happen. Earlier in this paper the construct of fleet trust was pointed out. As a signifier ablind trustto acquire things traveling, but it besides can fuel struggles if each other’s outlooks are non achieved. Since there is no factual footing on edifice trust, pigeonholing and classification can and is likely traveling to go on ( Germain and McGuire, 2014 ) . Therefore, presenting a new avenue for struggles. A point to be emphasized in this job, caused by pigeonholing and classification, is that it may decline struggles or cause struggles that are serious or do lasting harm non merely to the relationship but besides the repute of the individuals involved. At the terminal of the twenty-four hours the job of trust remains a job whether it is traveling back to the ramping stage every clip merely to develop trust or applyingSwift trustwhich causes new jobs that finally end up in increased opportunities of struggle.

The chief ground that engineering can do misinterpretation is best explained by Holtbrugge, Schillo, Rogers and Friedmann ( 2011 ) as they province: “As electronic media are merely able to convey para-verbal and non-verbal elements of messages to a really limited grade, the hazard of misinterpretations and struggles additions ( p. 4 ) .” In a simpler sense the words are being transmitted without the sub-contextual cues such as gestures that supplement during conversation without these, receiving systems of messages may non be able to state the difference between a strong credence and a loath credence. During regular face-to-face treatment, a mere crossing of custodies signals some kind of dissent which can non be seen utilizing a computing machine mediated communicating, picture conferencing may assist but harmonizing to Moreno, Navarro, Zornoza and Ripoll ( 2009 ) little has been known about the benefits of videoconferencing in avoiding struggles. Ayoko, Konrad and Boyle ( 2012 ) point that aside from the restrictions of engineering, struggles can be aggravated due to communicating holds caused by clip zone differences or in message bringing jobs.

Native linguistic communications can besides play a function in farther fueling struggle. Peoples with different native linguistic communication pass oning in English will utilize different ways to state the same things as they will subconsciously fit it with the construction of the native linguistic communication doing presenting a different significance than intended. Hsu and Chou ( 2009 ) presents that presenting the communicative genres ( forms ) can assist work out this job in their statement: “an integrating of communicating interface that integrating needed genres for scholars to fluently and transparently co-ordinate is suggested to develop as holding persons to join forces virtually ( p. 10 ) .” Sing the province of the current address acknowledgment engineerings which fails to merely interpret what is said in to written words, this is a long manner and it make take decennaries before a on the job paradigm can be developed. As of the minute, nil can forestall linguistic communication from doing struggles. An added point to look at is sub-accent with in states ( i.e. USA, India ) . Often in big states ( but non ever, it is possible in little states excessively ) there are different speech patterns and ways of talking the same linguistic communication which pushes this cause for struggle in to deeper evidences by adding another bed of complexness.

Another job with engineering is its handiness and handiness. Availability is the resources that can be used in communicating ( i.e. device, internet entree, etc. ) while handiness is being able to really link to the individual, individual may hold all the resources but maintaining them off or non replying the call would non let any signifier of communicating. This can fuel struggles or during conflict declaration can let a great and easy flight for avoiders. This is farther supported by Furumo ( 2009 ) in his/her research he finds out thatapostateare more likely to utilize the avoidant struggle direction manner than any other in VTs. However, the research besides finds the usage of avoidant struggle direction manner is non as significantly high as expected. Interestingly, the research besides points that trust is besides a critical factor that in doing a squad member an avoider. Avoiders present a large challenge in VTs because merely to convert them or acquire them to conflict declaration is difficult. It is because that you can non merely near the avoiders personally or direct a individual to them, since if it would hold been possible so it will suit the really purpose of making a VT or would be otherwise be expensive ; and trying to name the avoider will non give any consequence for the ground that he/she will non reply or answer to any communicating effort. Additionally separating a individual who is truly an avoider from those who have hapless connectivity would besides show a challenge. Both of them will be demoing the same marks for a certain clip adequate to do undue struggle. These has besides been pointed out earlier that any communicating hold can increase the opportunities of struggle in this instance transporting the premise that the individual is an avoider, even though the world is he/she is holding connectivity jobs.

Before this point engineering has been treated as able to acquire things done but non so absolutely. Thomas and Bostrom ( 2010 ) besides gave a expression at two simple but of import points that farther pushes engineering as a critical factor in doing struggle. First, they point toadequateness of engineeringwhether it is able to make the undertaking or non. Technology non being able to or partly do the undertaking will put the force per unit area on individual working, coercing him/her to utilize the manual paper and write techniques or make eternal accommodation doing more emphasis, weariness and clip. This seems to be the perfect environment to brew struggles. And in conclusion theinsufficiency of cognition of utilizing engineering, this is another teeth-grinder. A great illustration of this is the mix of generational work force in the workplace today, there are tonss of difference among the coevals and one of which is engineering literacy. Generally, millennials are defined as more tech understanding, followed by coevals X which are considered as merely tech literate and the babe boomers which have non grown to utilize engineering and frequently prefer the same old ways. This presentation is adequate to back up the fact that this is another fertile land for doing struggles. In amplification, millennials would love to make something on computing machines while Baby Boomers may non swear the end product by this engineering. Inadequacy of cognition on engineering does non merely cross in inter-generational state of affairss but besides it can still do struggles among the same coevals. With so package systems today being so advanced that simple use of those system with ignorance can do major jobs or possible fiscal losingss to the constitutions. Another job that can do struggle is that fact that there is a broad assortment of package available for a certain undertaking and the stereotyped outlook that if person knows how to make a certain thing would intend that individual know a certain sort of package regardless of the possibility of it can besides be done on other systems as good. These two facts combined plus the thought of personal penchant or outlook is adequate to do scenarios like “I am making it the right way” or “You are making it wrong” , therefore taking to a possible struggle.

VNS ( and VMS ) is a great tool that uses engineering in conflict declaration but upon farther analyses the same jobs can be identified with engineering. Depending on the communicating medium used, it still lacks the easy noteworthy non-verbal cues that can be basically used by the 3rd party to work most proficiently. It still does non work out the job of the avoiders which are traveling to be able to avoid struggles. Additionally, linguistic communication job still remains in VNS suggesting a heavy challenge on struggle declaration. Another construct that has come around is Virtual Human Resources Development ( VHRD ) . It is the development of squad members to larn how to manage HR related jobs, inclusive of which struggle declaration. Human Resource Development experts are going spouses instead than experts in work outing concern jobs ( Germain and McGuire, 2014 ) . Tong, Yang, and Teo ( 2013 ) extends this impression that all squad aside from the demands IT-related preparation must be trained in struggle declaration.

In whole of this paper, thought the engineering neglecting to supply the full communicating channel has been pointed out as a cause for struggle and or taking to other sub causes. But looking back, when there were no VTs, there were still struggles. For convenience, this will be called natural struggle for this paragraph and struggle caused by the failing of engineering unreal struggle. Now the inquiries, comes How do you distinguish a natural and an unreal struggle? This is a great trade of concern because it will greatly impact the manner struggle declaration would hold to be conducted. An unreal struggle treated as a natural struggle will be attempted to be resolved in the incorrect manner. Again, this will present another avenue for a new and more complex struggle. The same thing will use in the contrary state of affairs, wherein the natural struggle will be treated as an unreal struggle. In this scenario, it can be said that it will non impact in a much harsher manner than the latter but will still neglect.


In this paper, assorted causes for struggles were pointed out and as to why these causes are making or fueling struggles in VTs. Technology, trust, linguistic communication were identified and analyzed as cause for struggle. Technology was identified as a cause for struggle due to its built-in failing neglecting to supply a complete communicating channel. Trust because there is no speedy and easy manner of set uping it. Language is another half of the communicating job in VTs because readings may neglect to present the appropriate message. Additionally, the methods or systems that aim to react to conflict were besides put away but it was subsequently found that these methods or systems fall into the same trap or present jobs that should non hold occurred otherwise ( i.e. pigeonholing as a consequence of fleet trust ) . And some systems have been visualized but are presently non possible to be built for now.

Conflict declaration in VTs is a great concern to large and little constitutions. At the minute it is still new and the whole universe is still larning on how to undertake the jobs associated with VTs.


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