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Success of a multinational corporation is depended on the effectiveness of the support and technical teams of the organization which are located in different areas of the world. The individuals who share a similar or same responsibility are residing in areas which are geographically dispersed. In the international scene, the traditional office skills of management are not effective alone although they are very important. There is a challenge of communicating with one another, working as a group and producing results which are timely and of high quality. An effective manager of a multinational organization needs to understand these challenges and take actions which will keep the teams involved in the organization or the project working together with very little friction and misunderstanding. There must be internal consistency in all the operations of the organization (Caligiuri, Lepak, & Bonache, 2010). The following are the categories of skills of leadership which are necessary in the management of a virtual project team and multinational organizations.
Effective Communication and Use of Technology
All the virtual teams need an effective communication so as to keep track of each other in the process of achieving their objectives. Without effective communication, the teams are not likely to work in unison and they may easily drift away from the objectives of the organization. There should be careful listening of the thoughts and ideas of everyone carefully. This strategy is important in the multinational organizations now and in the future because the smooth running of the organization will depend on the communication ability of the virtual team members. Communication will ensure that there is connection between the members of the team which is carrying out a particular task. If the communication fails, there is lack of coordination and thus the project fails. The use of technology ensures that the cost of communication is cheap. Technology will increase the efficiency of communication now and in the future. As a result, the organization will be able to coordinate its activities effectively. Without technology, communication will become very hard for the managers and thus they need to embrace technology.
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The members of a project or of the multinational organization will need to work as community. The building of a community will involve such things as understanding and demonstrating sensitivity to the differences in the cultures of the people, development of team etiquette, establishment and adherence of rules which all the members will adhere to and development of agreement among all the members of the team. This will help the members of the team to work together in harmony without friction. It is useful where an organization is operating in areas with different political and cultural backgrounds. The team members need to understand each other and learn how to live together. This will also not change in the future since these are characteristics which are fundamental in any organization operating on a diverse cultural background (Zakaria, & Yusof, 2010).
Establishing a Purpose
A virtual manager must establish a clear purpose for the organization which is communicated to all members of the organization. The importance of this is ensuring that each and every individual is able to understand the aims and goals of the organization and thus work towards achieving them. The team members should share a common purpose for the organization which will inspire them to act in the best interest of the company. Whether near or far, employees sharing a common vision are likely to benefit the organization more than it would have been without sharing such a vision. There will be more productivity and employees will be motivated to advance the goals of the organization. Establishment of purpose for the organization prevents a situation where some employees do not understand the objective of the organization and thus avoid confusions (Thompsen, 2009).
Leading by Example
This is also another important leadership skill for those who are leading virtual teams. The managers must ensure that they show a good example to the rest of the employees and thus ensure that they do not involve themselves with activities which are against the culture of the organization. The managers should ensure that they do not participate in activities which are not in line with what they tell the employees. Most of the employees will follow what the manager does and thus try to do the same. If the manager engages in activities which are not good for the organization, the rest of the employees are also likely to engage in such activities which may affect the organization. Leading by example is a characteristic which is very important in management of virtual teams whether now or in future and across all the cultures of the world. Most of the people will tend to do what their leader is doing and thus if the management is acting in the best interest of the organization, there is an increased chance of the employees doing what is right for the multinational company (Thompsen, 2009).
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A manager leading a virtual team must have good communication skills and use technology. Communication will ensure that the employees of the organization are sharing common objectives and are acting as per the instruction. Since this is not a management system which uses the traditional office system, the need for communicating becomes central to operations of the organization. The organization should also embrace technology which will ensure there is easy communication. The manager should lead by example and thus ensure that all the employees can follow him or her as an example. Lastly, the manager should form the purpose of the organization which will guide the employees even in far distances. These strategies can be used by managers now or in the future.
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