Organizations are implementing virtual teams using web technologies as a cost-effective measure for training and project development. In Working at a Distance, Cassandra Smith provides a detailed, comprehensible virtual team business model for managers, professionals, teachers or students involved globally with such initiatives. The author argues that guidance for members of such teams is generally lacking. They are left to figure out their places on the team and face a host of other issues, the impact of which can be ameliorated with a virtual team business model that anyone working at a distance can follow. Cassandra Smith has taught courses online and facilitated virtual teams. The model she has created based on that experience maximizes the benefit to be gained from individual members’ skills, personality styles, and the strengths of each active participant. It will enable teams to set up viable working plans and work cohesively at a distance. The model also provides for conflict management in virtual environments. Built on research and practical experience, the empirical data and subject experts’ views captured by the author and the model offered here will help all stakeholders of businesses or educational institutions where managers, employees and clients; or teachers and students are working at a distance to achieve desired outcomes.
Cassandra Smith is an online instructor. She has been writing for over twenty years and teaching in the online environment for six years. Smith has taught several courses online and facilitated virtual teams. She has written web-based courses and trained online faculty. Smith is the author of Who Let this Disaster in My Classroom - an online facilitator’s course guide, and Ethical Behaviour in the E-Classroom - a textbook for online students featuring ethical theories as they relate to working in the online environment along with critical thinking concepts. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Mobile and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Adult Education and Distance Learning from the University of Phoenix. Cassandra Smith is a doctoral candidate in the Postsecondary and Adult Education discipline.
’Many projects fail in the virtual environment because project managers rely on the assumptions and communication strategies they use in the face-to-face environment. Smith’s Virtual Team Global Business Model makes a significant contribution to working and learning at a distance because she provides a concrete model that helps managers examine their assumptions and tailor their communication practices to work effectively at a distance.’ Howard R. Jacobs, School of Education, Capella University, USA ’Cassandra Smith's Virtual Team Global Business ModelTM is a methodology that can finally make virtual teamwork viable. Through her thoughtful and creative structuring of goal-planning, role-definition, communication, and much more, Smith paints a multifaceted picture of how this business process can work in higher education. We no longer should hear, "Oh, no, not another team assignment!"’ Tamara Fudge, Kaplan University, USA