Despite the glut of books on social networking (or perhaps because of it) there is a scarcity of peer-reviewed source material on virtual teams. Virtual Teamwork takes an important step toward bridging that gap.
As many organizations are discovering, it is not just about the technology. "Cute cat" tools like Facebook or Twitter are obviously not a solution for corporate or educational communication. The fact that millions of people use social media does not give it value - millions of people also watch "reality" TV shows. Wall Street made it clear that Facebook was over-valued. But just installing Lync or some other flavor of the month messaging tool into the corporate software pool isn't the answer either if no one uses it.
The essays that editor Robert Ubell has gathered covers many of the hurdles that one encounters in virtual teams. Although they are often couched from the perspective of one discipline, the insights can be applied across the spectrum. For instance, the problems that occur in team projects in a university class are not any different than one sees in a corporate environment, and the solutions bear equal weight as well.
While there may not be enough detail for organizational leaders looking for a blueprint ("use software X, it will solve all your problems"), Ubell and his contributors have given us a research based framework to build on. As such, I find Virtual Teamwork an invaluable resource that promotes 'out of the box' thinking towards managing virtual teams and collaborative groups.