Working in diverse teams
Working in diverse teams

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Working in diverse teams

4.2 Developing trust in virtual teams

Trust is essential for effective team work. A team without trust is not going to be able to reach its full potential and achieve its goals effectively. What is meant by ‘trust’ here is the reliance you build up regarding how someone will act based on their character and ability. In order for creative thinking to take place in teams, people need to be able to take risks. This cannot take place if you do not trust other team members.

Described image
Figure 4 Trust depends on personal qualities

In a co-located team, trust can develop over time. Personal bonds develop from informal conversations about personal matters and time to socialise after work. However, in a virtual team there is less opportunity to develop the kind of relationships that the foundation of trust can be built on. Without trust, risks will not be taken, creativity of ideas will dry up and the strength of the team will be diminished.

A different type of trust is needed in temporary teams. Myerson et al. (1996) refer to this as ‘swift trust’. When targets and timescales don’t allow the luxury of developing relationships over time, members must move quickly to set goals and operate as if trust was in place.

However, it has been argued that this kind of trust may actually inhibit the growth of real trust between the trustor and trustee as it is not real trust, but rather a substitution of trust.

WDT_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371