Friends of the Nonverbal Communication Club, this week we present the paper “Strategies Global Virtual Team Leaders Use to Improve Trust and Communication”, by Sarah C. Monday (2022), in which the author talks about how the inability to build trust and communication can negatively impact organizational outcomes.
One of the leading causes of low productivity and efficiency in a global virtual team (GVT) members is the inability of team leaders to build trust based on communication with their team members.
For this case study, the author used a social exchange theory (SET), Lerner and Lerner (1981) shared that interactions between individuals and social behavior are the result of and exchange process to maximize benefits (innovation) and minimize cost (productivity and efficiency).
The purpose was to explore strategies GVT leaders use to improve trust and communication between their GVT. The participants were 18 GVT business leaders from six different organizations located in the Pacific Northwest the United States.
The overarching question for this study was: What cultural intelligence strategies do leaders use to improve trust and communication among GVT members?
By using semi-structured interviews and a review of organizational documentation the data was collected, through thematic analysis, and these four themes were recognized:
Information sharing though transparency
- The creation and iteration of best practices/strategies
- Localization development
- The development of cross-functional work tools
One key recommendation the author points out is a for GVT leaders to define team meeting styles and frequencies,
Sarah C. Money divides the doctoral study in three big sections: Foundation of the Study, the project and application to professional practice.
Starting off with the first one, Foundation of the study we can understand the background of the problem by keeping in mind that the need for organizations and employees to have a develop awareness and understanding of cultural intelligences strategies among the organizational leaders is a key factor.
In the case study was also reviewed organizational documents for more information, where it was found that each organization had three leaders, and each representing a different team: Engineering, Art, and Production.
By having six different organizations provide six different perspectives of GVT management. Across all these teams, leaders, and roles, the participants were chosen based on certain criteria.
The two main ones were: First, leaders who have implemented strategies to improve trust and communication and led GVTs to successfully develop and launch video games across multiple platforms.
Second, leaders were required to have worked within the video gaming industry for 5 years.
For this study it was used the qualitative method over the quantitative, simple because its mains to explore a phenomenon though multiple designs and not a hypothesis to establish variables (as it is used in the quantitative method). The project was based on many research and interview questions, research designs, ethical research, data collections analysis.
Section three includes particulars of the project findings and the application to professional practice.
The four main themes for improving trust and communication among GVT members were:
(a) Leadership transparency through information sharing or knowledge sharing.
(b) The learning, establishment, output, and iteration of practices.
(c) Team dynamics through empathy and patience.
(d) The emergence of tools to enhance knowledge sharing.
The enable of a global playbook, pulse checks, and conflict resolution are ones of the best practices and strategies leaders can do to improve productivity and team efficiency, some other can be project tracking, idea sharing, and development of cross-functional work tools.
The need for understating how organizations leaders can improve cognitive and cultural intelligence by incorporating strategies to have better productivity, effectiveness and leadership among the team members is crucial.
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