اثرات تنوع فرهنگی و فناوری اطلاعات و ارتباطات بر تیم های مجازی جهانی: مطالعه اکتشافی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18070||2008||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information & Management, Volume 45, Issue 2, March 2008, Pages 131–142
Modern organizations face many significant challenges because of turbulent environments and a competitive global economy. Among these challenges are the use of information and communication technology (ICT), a multicultural workforce, and organizational designs that involve global virtual teams. Ad hoc teams create both opportunities and challenges for organizations and many organizations are trying to understand how the virtual environment affects team effectiveness. Our exploratory study focused on the effects of cultural diversity and ICT on team effectiveness. Interviews with 41 team members from nine countries employed by a Fortune 500 corporation were analyzed. Results suggested that cultural diversity had a positive influence on decision-making and a negative influence on communication. ICT mitigated the negative impact on intercultural communication and supported the positive impact on decision-making. Effective technologies for intercultural communication included e-mail, teleconferencing combined with e-Meetings, and team rooms. Cultural diversity influenced selection of the communication media.
The use of information and communication technology (ICT), a multicultural workforce, and changing organizational models that increase worker participation have altered the nature of multinational corporations. One of the significant developments in organizational design is the introduction of team-based structures. An example is the virtual organization , of which virtual teams are the building blocks . Members of these global virtual teams (GVTs) are often dispersed world-wide . Advances in technology facilitate communication and the sharing of information among team members. By employing GVTs, organizations can combine the best expertise available for task performance regardless of geographic location, etc . As a result, use of GVTs gives organizations access to a larger pool of skills, which can reduce development time. Teams can increase organizational performance, lateral communication, and employee participation. But in spite of their advantages, GVTs face greater communication challenges than face-to-face teams; traditional communication mechanisms are lost or distorted, and vocal and nonverbal communication cues are often missed . In addition, with members in multiple time zones, logistics are more complex. As a result, building trust among team members and overcoming feelings of isolation and detachment becomes a challenge. Thus ICT use in global organizations increases teamwork complexity and may impact its effectiveness. Finally, the culturally heterogeneous composition of many teams adds to their complexity as cultural biases may distort communication. Researchers are trying to determine how virtuality impacts team effectiveness  and , focusing on a variety of success predictors  and , such as conflict management , leadership , trust , ,  and , communication , norm development  and , boundary crossing , creativity  and , team size , control , and technology appropriation . The effect of virtual team composition on performance seems very important; e.g., cultural diversity influences virtual team effectiveness . Although the literature suggests that cultural diversity is a critical predictor of effectiveness, empirical findings that support this claim are rare  and . Therefore, it is important to gain a better understanding of the effect of cultural diversity on team effectiveness and to understand how ICT mitigates or amplifies this influence  and 
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
ICT is a tool that facilitates the process of boundary-crossing to overcome the challenges presented by remote and culturally diverse team members. In particular, our study indicated that ICT mitigated the negative impact of intercultural miscommunication. Although the intended purpose of ICT was to overcome geographical and time zone differences, ICT supported the creation and maintenance of team identity by the use of team rooms that decrease distorted communication (by capturing decisions in a shared database) while increasing team cohesiveness, inclusion, and common ground. One of our main findings was that cultural diversity of team members was a major factor influencing media selection. Combination of channels was one way in which ICT could operate better than in face-to-face meetings. Our study also confirmed the tendency of team members to perceive diversity to be negative. Differences in language, verbal styles, and nonverbal styles influenced team effectiveness; nonverbal differences mainly affected face-to-face communication. Information and communication technologies mitigated the negative impact of cultural diversity on team effectiveness while supporting the positive impact. Based on our work, multinational corporations use e-mail for intercultural communication, with teleconferencing coming second; face-to-face meetings are also common. Some patterns in verbal and nonverbal communication styles are amplified in some channels (e.g., distortion of accents when using a telephone), and others are mitigated or eliminated via other channels (e.g., nonverbal differences when using e-mail). Some of the differences in style and language that cause miscommunication are reduced by e-mail, while others (e.g., nonverbal cues) are eliminated. Except for face to face, the media channels of our study mitigated the negative effects of cultural diversity and dispersion. One of the main limitations of this study is that results were derived from one organization. Assumptions about the transferability of these findings to other industries and corporations should be made with caution. Another limitation is in its sample, which included only a few members from some cultures (e.g., Japan, France, and Germany) and many from others (U.S. and Israel). The findings were probably skewed and primarily reflected perceptions of members from these two cultures. Also members of eastern cultures were barely represented in our sample. A similar limitation lies in the selection of quotations used to illustrate the various points; most were from interviews with native English speakers. Despite these limitations, this study contributed to research theory and management practice. Dispersed and diverse GVTs that operate using mostly mediated communication need to be able to master a wide repertoire of channels and to be able to use them effectively, but they also need face-to-face meetings. Training in intercultural communication should focus more on differences in verbal styles than on nonverbal differences. GVT members should be able to communicate effectively in all contexts. When team members are dispersed, e-mail is an effective channel and GVTs should use e-mail with synchronous textual chat or screen sharing (e.g., e-Meetings), while engaged in team teleconferences. A team room also supports the creation and maintenance of team identity across sites, time zones, and cultures, as well as team viability. The implications of our study for systems design emerge mainly from uses of multiple media and combinations of media. Collaborative group systems should incorporate possibilities for using multiple media channels and separate channels. ICT combination requires that systems enable users to customize and mix channels according their different needs in different situations.