Which characteristic(s) from Hill’s Team Leadership Model
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Undergraduate (yrs. 1-2)
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Can this virtual teamwork?
Jim Towne heads a newly formed information technology team for a major international corporation. The team comprises 20 professionals who live and work in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, and Australia. All members of the team report to Jim. The team is a virtual team connected primarily via video conference, group decision-support software, e-mail, and telephone. The team has met twice in a face-to-face setting to set goals and plans. All of the team members are quite competent in their respective technical areas. Some team members have a long and valued history with the company; others have recently joined the company through a corporate merger. The team members have never worked together on any projects. The task of the team is to develop and implement technology innovations for all global business units. The team members are excited about the importance and innovative nature of their assignment. They respect each other and enjoy being part of the team. However, the team has difficulty getting off the ground, and the members report being extremely overloaded. Most team members travel to business sites at least 2 weeks each month. The travel is important, but it causes team members to get further behind.
The team has one half-time secretary, located in New York. Her primary responsibility is to organize travel and meetings of team members. Team members are working on several projects at once and have great difficulty finishing any of the projects. One team member has 500 unread email messages because each team member sends copies of all messages to everyone on the team. Jim is under great pressure to prove that this team can work and provide a valuable function to the organization.
Which characteristic(s) from Hill’s Team Leadership Model (see link above) on team excellence is lacking in this team?
Based on this analysis of team effectiveness, should Jim intervene at this time, or should he keep monitoring the team? If you think he should take action, at what level should he intervene (internal or external)? If internal, should his action be task or relational?
What specific leadership functions should Jim implement to improve the team, and why?
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