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The challenges of teamwork in Geographically Distributed Teams (GDTs)

Oddo, Milas Salvatore (2020) The challenges of teamwork in Geographically Distributed Teams (GDTs).

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Abstract:Nowadays, Geographically Distributed Teams (GDTs) are increasingly being used, with team-members and managers operating at a distance. In these teams, face-to-face communication is alternated with virtual communication, among the team-members and among team-member and manager. These types of teams offer different kind of advantages for companies and organizations compared to traditional face-to-face teams. However, there are certain challenges that these kind of teams face. In literature there appears to be attention for these challenges, but not specifically from the perspective of teamwork in GDTs. With attention being paid to the challenges that team-members and managers experience within teamwork in GDTs. The current study focusses on this, addressing the following research question: what challenges do team-members and managers experience with the teamwork in GDTs? This question is answered by interviewing 14 team-members and 5 managers of different GDTs at one organization, namely the court of Overijssel. By using semi-structured interviews, the collected data is coded. The coding shows that team-members experience low visibility of the managers as the main challenge. This leads to little personal attention for the team-members from the managers side and work-related problems for the team-members, which is experienced as challenging for the team-members within teamwork in GDTs. The team-members also experience challenges within teamwork in GDTs by the different cultures that are present in the GDT. In addition, team-members see it as a challenge within teamwork in GDTs that there is a lack of cooperation between different GDTs of the organization. Finally, the team-members experience a challenge within teamwork in GDTs by the inefficient use of new technologies. Managers experience it as a challenge within teamwork in GDTs that more is required from them, in the sense of more time and effort to manage the GDT. The managers, just like the team-members, also notice that the different cultures that are present within the GDT are challenging for the teamwork. This study looks at the challenges that team-members and managers experience with teamwork in GDT, leading to challenges that pop-out at this study that are comparable to existing literature and challenges that differ from existing literature. The perspective from the team-members and managers also plays a distinctive role here. In this way, the current study contributes to the existing literature related to challenges that GDTs face.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 05 communication studies, 71 sociology, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82393
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