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Review: Implementing Virtual Teams


Implementing Virtual teams
Title: Implementing Virtual Teams
Authors: Abigail Edwards and John R. Wilson
Publisher: Gower Publishing Limited
ISBN: 0 566 08468 6
Price: £53.95
Reviewer: Kathryn Kelly
Employer's Organisation for local Government and

Beware of first impressions: My first thoughts about a book on implementing virtual teams were that the medium was at odds with the subject matter. This was re-enforced by the computer-generated illustrations, which I am sure look great in colour but are dismal in greyscale. At least one chart faired badly from lack of colour as well.

My first impressions of the book were therefore not positive and the authors’ claims that it was targeted at a general audience offering a middle ground between academia and “business guru sloganising” also caused me concern as many such books end up satisfying nobody.

However, these authors not only achieved what they set out to produce, which was a guide to organisational and human factors in implementing virtual teams, it was a really good read too. Both authors have worked with and studied virtual teams for several years and have collaborated with others on the production of this book whilst retaining a cohesive style of writing. Neither of them are technologists which is possibly why the chapter on technology is so digestible.

The book is structured into four parts, which makes it easy to dip into for specific information.

Part one covers basic information for the uninitiated, describing what virtual teams are and offering the business case for implementation which is further supported by case studies later in the book. This section also highlights how effective team working in general relates to virtual teams.

Part Two offers everything you might need to know to implement virtual team working; from communication strategies to managing and supporting teams and naturally the technology available.

Part Three provides case studies of virtual team working and guidelines developed from these studies and the final part four offers practical tools that can be used during the formation and life cycle of a virtual team.

If you are considering virtual team working for your organisation, then this book is worth reading.


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