This paper provides an insight into how companies faced with hypercompetitive environments are leveraging their globally dispersed knowledge resources through far‐flung teams. Far‐flung teams are virtual teams that are multi‐unit/multi‐organizational, multi‐functional, globally dispersed and conduct their interdependent activities mainly through electronic media with minimal or no face‐to‐face interactions. A multi‐phase multi‐method study of 55 successful far‐flung teams. The first phase followed a highly successful far‐flung team over a period of ten months. The second phase involved survey participation from members of several far‐flung teams in multiple companies across multiple industries. Distinct communication and knowledge sharing norms emerge in successfuly far‐flung teams. Four different types of IT support are required for task coordination, external connectivity, distributed cognition and interactivity. The communication and knowledge sharing norms that emerged can be used to test impact on failure/success of other far‐flung teams. The impact of each of the four disctinct types of IT support has to be taken into account when studying far‐flung teams. Teams have to achieve a strategic fit between task characteristics, team composition and information technology support to overcome the barriers to knowledge sharing and successful creation of new knowledge in extreme environments faced by far‐flung teams. This paper takes an extensive multi‐methodology empirical approach to exploring successful far‐flung teams. It provides a theoretical model for future research on far‐flung teams.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2004
Keywords: Information transfer; Knowledge management; Globalization; Team working; Virtual organizations
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