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RVTM 125

Virtual Teams in Worldwide Environments

Virtual teams are used in many areas of today's economy, including manufacturing, information technology, the pharmaceutical industry, retail and education. Teams operate in increasingly distributed settings, crossing geographic, political and cultural boundaries. This course will consider how institutional (organizational) context affects the management of virtual teams. Institutions (corporate, state and trans/international organizations) influence such factors as labor, outsourcing, environmental impact, the use of social media, and intellectual property.

The subject matter to be considered is dynamic creating challenges for risk management and making it difficult to predict the trajectory of a manager’s career. Published case studies and scholarly articles quickly become obsolete from a practical, management perspective. This course will therefore rely primarily on high-quality current news sources, reinforced by focused scholarly articles. The goal is to develop general analytical concepts and identify general challenges that will enable a manager to effectively absorb changing technological and political circumstances that may affect virtual team management in the future.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Identify key institutions (governmental and non-governmental) relevant to the management of global virtual teams.
• Assess the impact of key institutions on human resources, labor relations and outsourcing.
• Identify institutional influences on other aspects of virtual team management including e-waste, cyber-censorship and intellectual property.
• Apply institutional knowledge to planning and building virtual teams.
• Understand and respond to an emerging and dynamic framework of institutional risks inherent in the management of worldwide virtual teams.

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