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Leading Virtual Teams

Leading Virtual Teams

Code: LEA8RZ001

Scope: number of credits: 5 ECTS
Timing: 3rd-4th semester
Language: English
Curriculum: Bachelor of Hospitality Management
Course level: Professional studies
Course type: optional/elective

Starting level and linkage with other courses

The student has successfully completed the Basic Studies (= the two first semester courses).

Learning objectives and assessment
Upon completion of the module, the student is able to

  • Understands the principles and shared objectives & shared leadership in a group or team setting, and is able to work together with others in multidisciplinary virtual teams
  • Facilitates teams and team work, especially communication in a virtual environment
  • Is capable of collaborative learning and sharing knowledge in teams and working communities
  • Takes responsibility of one’s own actions and works according to the jointly agreed principles and methods
  • Adopts an initiative and proactive approach to work and is capable of problem solving and decision making and respects diverse opinions and views and is able to accept constructive criticism


Grade 1

He/she has basic communication skills to support team work in a virtual environment .He/she can manage multicultural business communication situations and has good command of using communicational tools.

Grade 3

He/she has good written communication skills and can relate to multidirectional exchange of ideas in a team setting. He/she is able to work in an environment with contact based on IT-instruments rather than physical meetings.
He/she shows ability to support and encourage team activities towards achieving goals and objectives.
He/she actively participates in team activities and shows problem solving skills.

Grade 5

He/she can deal with feedback and criticism, and also uses feedback in improving personal skills and qualities towards better performance in a team setting. He/she has assumed a constructive and responsible role in team work. He/she supports and encourages problem solving and creative solutions to problems. He/she shows leadership and responsible behavior towards team and team members.

Passed courses are assessed on a scale of 1 to 5. The assessment criteria are presented for grades 1 - 3 - 5. Assessment of one´s own learning is not a part of the grade assessment (done separately in e-form after each course in HH)

Recognising and validating prior learning (RPL)
If students have acquired the required competence in previous work tasks, recreational activities or on another course, they can show the competence with a demonstration and progress faster through their studies. More information and instructions for recognising and validating prior learning (RPL) are available at MyNet.

Working life connections
Team assignments may include assignments and small projects commissioned by the hospitality industry. Team participants may be active (full time) in working life.

Teams include exchange students and / or students working or studying abroad.


To achieve the learning objectives and assessment criteria level, the course specifically introduces methods and challenges in a network setting, with participants spread in a large geographical area.

Learning methods
E-learning lessons, e-materials and e-meetings
Individual and team assignments
Independent studies
The assessment of one’s own learning 1 h (not a part of grading)

Individual and team assignments, team test/examination, peer performance evaluation in teams.

Course teacher(s)
Kari Nurminen Haaga tel. 040 4887 170 also Skype (use e-mail address)

Learning materials

Mukherjee, D., Lahiri, S., Mukherjee, D & Billing, T. 2012. Leading virtual teams: how do social, cognitive, and behavioral capabilities matter? Management Decision Vol. 50 No. 2, 2012 pp. 273-290. (compulsory)

Accessible: Read 16.2.2017.

Saarinen, J. 2016. Managing global virtual teams. Doctoral thesis, Aalto University. (recommended).

Salla, M. 2013. Leadership in multicultural virtual team environment. Bachelor’s thesis, Haaga-Helia Uas. DP in International Business. Accessible:

Read: 30.1.2017. (compulsory)

Shuffer, M., Wiese, C., Salas, E. & Burke, S. 2010. Leading One Antother Across Time and Space: Exploring shared Leadership Functions in Virtual Teams. Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones Vol. 26, N:o 1, 2010. Pags. 3-17. Read 16.2.2017.

Implementation plan
Each execution will have the implementation plan on Moodle learning platform.


Offered 1 - 2 times/study year, not tied to terms of HH periods. Duration: approx. 10 weeks.

Learning assignments and competence assessment:

Learning assignment 1: Personal leadership style analysis: individual assignment. Complete 4 on-line tests on Your leadership style, communication style and team role. Turn in a short report with the results and analysis on the reliability and validity of the tests You took. 

Learning assignment 2: Team assignment. Teams will be assigned a task – problems to be solved. Teams turn in their solutions as one report.

Learning assignment 3: Peer performance evaluation. Example: Teams are allocated X points / team member to share (e.g. a 4-member team gets 120 points and a 5-member team 150 points); the teams shall produce a fair distribution of the points, which means best performance may be rewarded with max. 40 points, and lowest points are 20. Teams turn in their member evaluation (1 document; names + the points earned by each individual player).

In the pilot course, feedback is gathered to improve further execution of the course. Feedback from earlier execution of the Leading teams LEA2RZ001 -courses has been used in developing the team test, the individual tasks and the peer evaluation after test.


Teacher(s): Kari Nurminen
Tel.: +358 40 4887 170
Post box: Pajuniityntie 11 00320 Haaga