By Shardul Phadnis and Chris Caplice
What should the manager of a team of globally dispersed individuals do to improve the team’s performance? This is a vital question for many supply chain managers today as Global Virtual Teams (GVTs) become more the rule than the exception.
In a 2012 survey of its members, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 46 percent of the organizations polled were using virtual teams. Two out of three multinational firms in the survey used GVTs, and 28 percent of the firms with U.S.-based operations relied on these groups. Survey respondents rated “building team relations” as the single biggest factor that could affect a team’s success.
The MIT SCALE (Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence) Network, an international alliance of research and education centers, is engaged in research to help identify the aspects of teamwork that have the biggest impact on performance. The findings will also provide guidance for managers on the most effective team-building initiatives.