Can Process Facilitation Improve Globally Distributed Collaboration? An Action Design Research

Cheng, Xusen
Fu, Shixuan
Huang, Jianqing
de Vreede, Gert-Jan
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Distributed collaborators still face problems to organize, to coordinate, and to build consensus. Collaboration tools still have difficulty to configure, to use, and to help facilitate collaboration management. In this study, we conducted an action design research on Company A that relies on distributed collaboration for their business activities. Based on the design theory of collaboration engineering, we designed a process facilitation support application to address the problems identified from Company A with real organizational problems. After rounds of iteration, we proposed two artifacts including facilitated collaboration process and collaborative tools for applications of process guidance. Findings suggest the benefits of facilitated process guidance on globally distributed collaboration. The results of survey show consistently high satisfaction towards the tool and process guidance from the employees. Our research serves as an exploratory investigation in the field of distributed collaboration, and provides evidence regarding the organizational challenges in a business context.
IT Enabled Collaboration for Development, collaboration,global distributed collaboration,facilitation,action design science
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