Global Virtual Teams Minitrack

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Today many business processes, as well as government and scientific projects are executed by geographically dispersed virtual teams. Team members often do not have the same first language, come from different national cultures, work in different time zones and may be employed in different organizations. These differences, among others, present unique opportunities for management and leadership. Because of the multi-disciplinary nature of team research we encourage submissions that may inform global virtual teams through a variety of academic lenses.

This minitrack invites papers that offer direct and indirect insights into the successful operation of global virtual teams. Session topics include but are not limited to:

  • Temporal separation and its effects on collaboration
  • Cultural differences in perception of time
  • Conflict management across cultures
  • Project management styles and differences across cultures
  • Differences in language understanding and its effects on collaboration
  • Power distance and its effects on collaboration
  • Uncertainty (risk) avoidance and its effects on collaboration
  • Anonymity in multicultural teams
  • eLeadership
  • Deception in virtual teams
  • Social loafing in virtual teams
  • Personality and its role in virtual teams
  • Cross-cultural training
  • Global virtual team collaboration and innovation
  • Emotion in virtual teams
  • Relationship building in virtual teams
  • Information sharing in global virtual teams
  • Collaboration and communication tools
  • Differences between academic and non-academic virtual teams
  • Global virtual team case studies

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Michael J. Hine (Primary Contact)
Carleton University
Email: mike.hine@carleton.ca

Derrick L. Cogburn
American University
Email: dcogburn@american.edu

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 6
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    Towards Genuine Virtual Collaboration: Designing the Use of Mobile Remote Presence in Offshore-Outsourced Projects
    ( 2017-01-04) Wende, Erik ; Alt, Rainer ; King, Greg
    Informal communication between work team members is critical for collaborative tasks, building relationships and coordinating group activities. Achieving informal communication and collaboration is particularly challenging in in offshore outsourced projects. Supporting informal communication is difficult for most collaboration technologies. One approach is the adoption of mobile remote presence technologies (MRP). Such systems comprise a video conferencing system mounted on a user-controlled, mobile robotic base. \ This paper seeks to design the deployment of an MRP system in an offshore-outsourced software development team (located between Germany and India). The design process involved observing the use a MRP system in a distributed team in Germany. \ We observed the influence of the mobile remote presence system on types and frequency of team interaction over a 12-month period. It supported a wide range of collaborative interaction, including planned and unplanned meetings and social interactions. After an adjustment period of several weeks, local and remote users worked almost as if they were co-located. \ The paper concludes with plans for deploying the mobile remote presence system in an offshore outsourced team, which include an extended adjustment period and daily scheduled meetings to ensure usage and enable a range of interaction types. \
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    The Perceived Level of Collaborative Work Environment’s Effect on Creative Group Problem Solving in a Virtual and Distributed Team Environment
    ( 2017-01-04) Bozan, Karoly
    Continuous product development and market introduction of new products are central to sustaining company performance, and information systems (IS) development project managers face increasing pressure for quicker product delivery, despite cost constraints. To respond to these challenges, virtual and distributed (V&D) teams are formed, which present a unique environment to foster collaboration among the project team members. We investigated the sources and effects of team members’ perceived level of collaboration on creative group problem solving in V&D IS project settings. Based on relational coordination theory, we performed semi-structured interviews and used a Q-methodology to confirm certain communication and relationship dimensions as precursors to collaborative environments. Using empirical tests, we found that relationships have a direct effect on creative group problem solving and that communication is mediated by perceived collaboration. We present practical implications and recommendations for V&D IS project managers for enhancing creative problem solving for V&D IS projects.
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    Shared Mental Models in Creative Virtual Teamwork
    ( 2017-01-04) Redlich, Beke ; Siemon, Dominik ; Lattemann, Christoph ; Robra-Bissantz, Susanne
    This paper presents an experiment on the impact of Shared Mental Models (SMM) on creative virtual teamwork. We tested whether the usage of an online whiteboard influences the building of SMM in the initial phase of virtual teamwork. As SMM are the foundation for successful collaboration in teams, we transferred the construct on measuring the team task and team goal in a creative virtual team process. In the first section of the paper a theoretical discussion on SMM, creativity and virtual teamwork will be presented. Subsequently, our experiment on virtual teamwork via the use of a virtual tool and its impact towards SMM will be introduced and the results will be discussed. We identified that specific creative competencies of virtual tools enhance the level of SMM but still lack in perceived efficiency compared to physically present teamwork. The findings recommend further research on the applicability, effectiveness and capabilities of creative virtual tools.
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    Cultural Influences on Collaborative Work in Software Engineering Teams
    ( 2017-01-04) Fazli, Fariba ; Bittner, Eva Alice Christiane
    International business activities increasingly lead to the formation of multicultural teams that work together as project teams, for a certain time both at a site as well as in virtual teams. Despite the modern conception of many companies that multicultural composite teams are more productive due to various perspectives and work styles, the ignorance and disrespect of these differences in work styles and perspectives can lead to misunderstanding and loss of productivity. In this paper, we report our findings from a systematic literature review that analyzes previous research on cross-cultural software engineering, to identify potential impacts of national cultural factors on collaborative approaches and behavior in software engineering teams. We discuss the current emerging state of knowledge and point out directions for advancing the understanding of cultural influences in this domain to lay the foundation for better collaboration design for cross-cultural software engineering teams.
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    Building Accessible Cyberinfrastructure in the Global Disability Community: Evaluating Collaboration Readiness and Use of the DID Policy Collaboratory
    ( 2017-01-04) Cogburn, Derrick L. ; Trevisan, Filippo ; Spaniol, Erin ; Aguilar, Maya
    This study is focused on better understanding the socio-technical infrastructure required to enhance participation of the global disability community in key global governance processes. It explores the impact of a virtual organizational platform, called the Disability Inclusive Development (DID) Policy Collaboratory on the participation of the UN Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) Network in the preparatory processes for the UN Habitat III Conference. This paper asks four broad questions about the DIAUD network: (1) what is its origin, composition, and structure; (2) to what degree does it represent a transnational advocacy network; (3); what is its baseline “collaboration readiness”; and (4) how effectively does it use the Collaboratory? Data are drawn from surveys and participant observation at virtual and face-to-face network meetings. Key findings include: (1) DIAUD is organized as a TAN; (2) has important linkages with epistemic communities; and (3) has made substantive and sustained policy contributions.