- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Wiley (April 11, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470193956
- ISBN-13: 978-0470193952
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,030,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Uniting the Virtual Workforce: Transforming Leadership and Innovation in the Globally Integrated Enterprise
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"Packed with case studies, in this new era of new devices andapplications, this book is well worth reading."(Bookviews.com, July 2008)
"The authors coin a term, "virtual distance", to refer to thefeelings of separation engendered by communicating by e-mail,instant messaging, audio conferencing and other tools. If you'veever had a misunderstanding with a colleague via e-mail, you'veexperienced virtual distance. The authors provide solid advice anda good starting point for managers who want to figure out why theirvirtual teams aren't communicating well or aren't delivering strongresults." (BusinessWeek.com, May 16, 2008)
From the Inside Flap
Uniting the Virtual Workforce
As our society continues its transition from the Industrial Ageto the Digital Age, new challenges are being introduced into theworkplace, giving rise to a new pheno-menon, Virtual Distance,comprised of three major axes: physical distancegeographic,time zone, or organizational; operationaldistancemultitasking, communication problems, and technicaldifficulties; and affinity distancecultural differences,interdependence distance, working relationships, and socialdistance.
Part of Wiley's Microsoft Executive Leadership series, Unitingthe Virtual Workforce introduces the concept of Virtual Distance toshow businesses the definite costs to doing work in a virtualenvironment. It then goes a step further and offers proven methodsfor measuring these costs and guidance on managing them.
Wherever your organization is in its under-standing of virtualDistance, Uniting the Virtual Workforce covers:
HowÊthe transition to a "virtual" workforce creates realchallengesÊto collaboration and innovation and how to measureand manage the impact
How Virtual Distance impacts productivity and innovation andoffers insight and guidance on how to manage these new risks
A historical perspective on "distance," exposing the so-called"death of distance" as a myth, and showing how our understanding ofdistance in the virtual workplace must include psychological, aswell as physical, spaces
Today, almost all organizations are struggling with the impactthat virtualization is having on the workplace. Yet, a fullcomprehension of the costs of virtualization is lacking. Unitingthe Virtual Workforce: Transforming Leadership and Innovation inthe Globally Integrated Enterprise presents a better understandingof Virtual Distance and the impact it has on people and performancein today's workplace, providing the essential tools necessary forminimizing its impact going forward.
Top customer reviews
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I have read several books on the topic of global teamwork, and while I have learned a lot from each, this one above others does a great job of pulling all the relevant elements together into a single, coherent model that I find myself refering to again and again when I look at global teams in the company.
I have found the approach presented here very helpful in the sense that it goes beyond theory and provides tools and processes that can be put into practice, including tables, lists and worksheets.
The following aspects are presented clearly:
1. The importance of virtual distance and the impact it has on the team's bottom line
2. How to analyze virtual distance in a team
3. How to identify critical areas of improvement
4. Suggestions on how to improve in those areas
The model and process are building on extensive research and this is a refreshing approach, looking at other books on the subject that seem to be based mostly on anecdotal experiences.
Even though the title implies the model presented here is specific to global organizations, I would say it an asset to anyone working in any kind of organization above a certain size.
I think this book is a great read, whether you are a part of your company's HR organization or just leading in a distributed setting.
Authors Lojeski and Riley present a timely, innovative response to workplace teams. Their virtual distance model cleverly intertwines the threads of physical distance, affinity distance, and operational distance into a visual shape that helps to understand the broader picture of today's workplace and its impact on work success or failure.
The reader learns about the history of the notion of teamwork. This context is not only relevant to corporate society, but all societies where work is done, both the private sector and the non-profit and government sectors. The discussion of pre-Industrial Age teams and Guilds to the teamwork models of today conveys a chronology of the past that helps to put the workplace of today in clearer perspective. The authors state: `...it is no longer possible that virtual workers build emotional ties to one another in the ways that people have done for centuries. The loose organizations of the Digital Age are not usually built for this purpose." This is a thought-provoking insight encouraging all leaders to take more responsibility for bridging the "affinity distance" gap.
Overall, I recommend this work to all readers currently in the workforce, not just managers, not just students, not just academics. This is a book that "takes the reader aside" to reflect on where we've been in the workplace, what we're grappling with now in the digital age, and what might be our path into the future.