Managing dispersed teams: new challenges, new solutions

Elaine Crowley (Executive Coach and Organizational Development Consultant, and a Founder and President of a global firm that prepares leaders and their organizations to meet today’s complex business and personal challenges. For more information, visit

Handbook of Business Strategy

ISSN: 1077-5730

Publication date: 1 December 2005


This article describes considerations and techniques to increase the productivity of geographically dispersed (also known as “virtual”) teams. Challenges and recommended solutions are provided for increasing the productivity and creativity of geographically dispersed (also known as “virtual” and/or “non‐co‐located”) teams. Examples and ten specific suggestions are based on the author’s work with dispersed multi‐national teams. Recommendations emphasize attention to and adjustment of team systems and dynamics, with illustrative examples. This article identifies typical problems and offers practical solutions for those responsible for leading geographically dispersed teams. Dealing with teams spread out physically requires a mindset (and actions) different from more traditional management of teams with members in the same location. This article explores how to cultivate this mindset and recommends steps to take to insure a dispersed team functions productively.



Crowley, E. (2005), "Managing dispersed teams: new challenges, new solutions", Handbook of Business Strategy, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 209-212.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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