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Virtual teams are dispersed groups of people working together toward a common goal, but who rarely, if ever, meet physically face-to-face. Instead, most of the team’s interactions are mediated via technology. Globalization and rapid advances in boundary-spanning communication and collaborative technologies have given virtual teams a prominent role in the work of business, nonprofit agencies, and government.

Virtual teams have no standard form or function; they vary, for example, in their degree of virtuality (the level to which team interactions are mediated only via technology), geographic distribution, time zone spread, cultural and organizational diversity, task complexity, time frame, personalities, and the technologies utilized. They can operate across a city, a region, a country, or even continents.

Virtual teams are attractive to organizations not only because of their ...

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