Factors affecting virtual team performance in telecommunication support environment
Over the past two decades, many organizations have been taking advantage of globalization, outsourcing, and communication technology advances to enter new markets and compete wherever and whenever possible (Copeland, 2006). Telecommunication companies are among those companies that strive most to expand their customer base globally. Telecommunication industry is expected to grow on a worldwide basis to $2.7 trillion in 2017 (RCR Wireless, 2012). This global growth necessitates comparable expansion of support teams to service an expanded and distributed global customer base. Support function in the telecommunication industry has unique provisions and complex activities associated with troubleshooting customers’ networks. According to Williamson et al. (2004), troubleshooting customers’ networks involves complex activities such as making real-time traffic affecting decisions. Hence, identifying challenges that may face leaders in such complex and fast growing industry and factors that may influence the performance of support teams is critical. In addition, understanding the role and influence of leaders in virtual settings can help organizations in allocating resources and sorting teams’ priorities. In this study, we investigated factors that affect virtual team performance; factors considered include communication tools, cohesion and collaboration, leadership, trust, the location of team members and team size. One-hundred-twenty professionals in high-technology telecommunication industry participated in a survey to reveal the importance of how factors affecting virtual team performance. The findings indicated that support professionals perceived reliable communication tools and cohesion among team members as more significant performance factors than leadership.
Additional content will be provided upon request.