Using New Generation Collaboration & Social Computing Technologies in Managing Virtual Teams: An Exploratory Study into Enablers and Barriers in a Multicultural Context
Purpose - To explore the various enablers and barriers of collaborative technologies in virtual teams through literature reviews and participant interviews and to develop findings with considerations to organizations embarking on similar initiatives. Design/methodology/approach - A constructivist methodology. One-to-one interviews with participants from researcher's organization: a cross-section of senior managers and team members with either previous or current virtual team experience. Thematic analysis has been used to draw out the themes in the interview transcripts, and to develop interpretations and connections to the literature. Findings - There is a great consensus among participants towards the importance of collaboration in virtual teaming and the need for proper planning and uptake. However caution is necessary for organizations embarking on these ventures as there are various barriers that need consideration. There are many aspects that organizations venturing into virtual team initiatives need to consider. These include various integration aspects of technologies, people & processes, choosing technologies that work together well, various people aspects associated with virtual team collaboration initiatives and establishing the virtual team culture as part of the overarching organization & group culture. Research limitations/implications - Small sample sizes make it hard to generalize. Further research could include larger sample sets, surveys of various types of teams affected, the individual collaboration technologies, social computing interdependencies, specific Enterprise 2.0 technology suites etc. Originality/value - Contributes a small body of research on the experience of managers and team members on collaborative technologies and virtual teaming. Provides the only such research in the banking sector and in the New Zealand marketplace, and contributes a set of findings & considerations to organizations embarking on similar initiatives.