Virtual teams

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VIRTUAL TEAMS: A MOTIVATIONAL EXPERIENCE

Maria Luisa Villegas Bernal
mariavillegasb@hotmail.com
mville15@eafit.edu.co

Abstract
This paper gives the reader an introduction about virtual teams, what are them and how do they work; then describes some motivational theories, explaining the five patterns of behavior and Hezberg satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors regarding virtual teamsand how can those and the trust be apply for the good performance of tasks. The methodology used in the paper is interpretative, where investigation and observation took place in order to find advantages and disadvantages in virtual teams, how language is an important aspect because of the globally factor of teams and some relations between motivational theories and the actual BIZ INK’s virtualexperience; to answer the question of, why virtual teams could be considered as a motivational experience? Concluding that this new organizational forms can positively affect the development of projects and tasks being a motivational experience for those who are involved.

Introduction
The world is changing and so should the ways people interact. If there is an easier method which is moreflexible and dynamic, to exchange information and work together in a different organizational form, it should be applied. Today with the technology era, the people is having access to better computers and communication equipment which allows a faster way for virtual teams to come into form. Virtual teams are defined as “groups of geographically, organizationally and/or time dispersed workers broughttogether by information and telecommunication technologies to accomplish one or more organizational tasks.” (Alavi & Yoo, 1997)
The goal of this paper is to provide the reader information about motivational factors in virtual teams, specifically in those that involve students; telling part of the experience that the Organizing Group of Biz Ink had in the call of students all around the globe, forthe participation in the International Competition BIZ INK made in EAFIT, a Colombian University.
Motivation is a factor that varies according to the experience the person is living, that also happens in virtual teams, depending on the kind of team and person, he/she will differently be motivated; through this paper the reader will be able to identify different patterns and factors in thestudent’s motivation.
Virtual teams could be a trend used by a few in which doesn’t exist added value for the performing of a job; or could also become part of a new organizational structure that will be preferred in the development of new projects or team tasks. This study will show how the last affirmation could be true.
Literature Review:
Students get involve every day in lots of activities thatengage the “virtual field”, but nowadays a lot of those activities mean the interrelation of more than two people through the net; so people is getting closer in a new world of technology without even seeing each other or with too long distances between them. There are a lot of reasons that explain why this kind of teams are getting really famous, among them are found: the low cost of computers,the increase of interconnected networks, the globalization that makes people to move to other places for work, the hyper-specialization of professions where very few people are very specialized in certain areas, the new tools available to share information, the fact that every day is more expensive and difficult to get together a team in the same place and time.
About motivation, a study(Arrow, Poole, Henry, Wheelan, & Moreland, 2004) identified five patterns of behavior for students to become motivated, which included: Mastery pattern where students are intrinsically motivated, acting in the pursuit of learning; Failure avoidance, which has an extrinsic factor such as a reward or a grade, the students act in the pursuit of performance; Learned helplessness pattern, there is a...
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