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More specifically, because the potential for miscommunication, misunderstanding, and pejorative or other negative interpretations is so much greater in remote communications especially through email (SHRM, 2010), the implications of failure to establish trust remotely are even greater. As Yoong (2009) points out, that is largely a function of the fact that genuineness in expressions of cultural awareness and sensitivity (as opposed to patronizing or otherwise insincere) expressions is absolutely crucial.
Sincerity and genuineness are much more difficult to communicate effectively in impersonal communications media (SHRM, 2010; Yoong, 2009). Therefore, appropriate expressions and other manifestations of cultural awareness and sensitivity are most appropriately communicated to virtual working groups via two-way video conferencing instead of other less personal methods of communications, notwithstanding the substantive sufficiency or factual accuracy of those expressions in writing, for example (SHRM, 2010;Yoong, 2009).
This project relies primarily on a review of secondary research in the form of Internet search engines, subscription-based Internet databases (such as Highbeam and Questia, among others), academic textbooks, and professional journal articles. The search terms used for the secondary research were: "Communications"; "Trust"; "Building Trust"; "Global Virtual Teams"; "Supervision"; "Effective Collaboration"; "Cultural Awareness"; "Cultural Sensitivity"; "Effective Leadership"; "Computer Mediated Work Teams"; "Computer Mediated Groups"; Cross-cultural Communication"; "Interpersonal Communication at Work"; "Building Organizational Trust"; and "Building Organizational Trust."
The time frame of source relevance is largely dictated by two factors: (1) the emergence of computer-mediation applications that make virtual working groups possible; and (2) the emergence of cultural diversity and the recognition of its importance within the local society and the business community. Therefore, the most relevant literature is that which has been published since the turn of the 21st century in both cases; moreover, because computer applications and their capabilities in relation to business communications functions have advanced so rapidly, literature published in the last five years is likely much more useful than literature published prior to 2005.
Ideally, this project should also include primary research in the form of surveys distributed to employees. More particularly, those surveys should focus on the degree of trust acknowledged by employees; the specific factors considered important both in establishing and in failing to establish trust, as the case may be; similar surveys of individuals in remotely supervised working groups through impersonal communications; and surveys of individuals in remotely supervised working groups through less impersonal communications methods. That primary research should also include concurrent surveys of supervisors to enable a comparison of their impressions and those of their subordinates.
That primary research should include six distinct populations: (1) employees of traditional organizations; (2) employees of global organizations relying on traditional communications methods in remote work group supervision; (3) employees of global organizations incorporating more dynamic modern communications methods in remote work group supervision; (4) supervisors working in traditional organizations; (5) supervisors working in global organizations relying on traditional communications methods in remote work group supervision; and (6) supervisors working in global organizations incorporating more dynamic modern communications methods in remote work group supervision.
It is anticipated that those surveys will only be useful if they are completely anonymous. Assuming only that all responses are substantially truthful, it is further anticipated that the most valuable aspect of the primary research would be a comparison between the respective responses of: (1) employees of traditional organizations and supervisors working in traditional organizations; (2) employees of global organizations relying on traditional communications methods in remote work group supervision and supervisors working in global organizations relying on traditional communications methods in remote work group supervision; and (3) employees of global organizations incorporating more dynamic modern communications methods in remote work group supervision and supervisors working in global organizations incorporating more dynamic modern communications methods in remote work group supervision.
Substantial concurrence of responses in each pairing would provide an indication that the organization has implemented effective trust-building and other elements of effective computer-mediated remote supervision of work groups. Conversely, substantial discord in those paired responses would provide an indication that the organization has not implemented effective trust-building or other elements of effective computer-mediated remote supervision of work groups.
Statement of Results and Conclusion
Based on the secondary research, it is anticipated that the primary research will yield the following conclusions:
1. Organizations can establish trust among and between business units working in very different external environments that shape individual expectations and values by implementing interactive communications methods that most closely approximate in-person communications.
2. Individual autonomy is a crucial component of satisfying working environments and should be incorporated into both merit-based reward systems and supervisor training.
3. Organizations can establish trust among and between supervisors and the members of business units working in very different external environments that shape individual expectations and values by emphasizing merit-based reward, recognition, and individual professional development and advancement within the organization.
4. The most important issues in relation to trust in relation to the nature of remote supervision irrespective of cultural issues are the inclusion of communications methods that feature the greatest possible range of interpersonal communications dynamics normally associated with in-person communications.
5. The most important elements of establishing trust on the part of organizational leaders is the genuine recognition and expression of cultural sensitivity, demonstrations of integrity in relation to expressed organizational values on the part of leadership, and interactive dynamic communications methods, particularly with respect to virtual team meetings with supervisors.
Douglas, C. And Zivnuska, S. "Developing trust in leaders: an antecedent of firm performance." SAM Advanced Management Journal. Society for the Advancement of Management. 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2010 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-177101798.html
George, J.M. And Jones G.R. (2008). Understanding and Managing Organizational
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Maxwell, J.C. (2007). The 21 Irrefutable Rules of Leadership. Georgia: Maxwell
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