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Effective Virtual Teams through Communities of Practice

Author

Listed:
  • Chris Kimble

    (University of York UK - Department of Computer Science)

  • Alexis Barlow

    (Glasgow Caledonian University - Caledonian Business School)

  • Feng Li

    (Strathclyde Business School - Department of Management Science)

Abstract

This paper examines the nature of virtual teams and their place in the networked economy. It presents a framework for categorising virtual teams and argues that fundamental changes have taken place in the business environment which force people and organisations to operate in 'two spaces' simultaneously: the physical space and the electronic space. It highlights some of the issues of trust and identity that exist in virtual teams and argues that, due to certain barriers, only a small proportion of these teams reach a satisfactory level of performance. Using the evidence from two recent sets of studies, it highlights some of the barriers to effective virtual team working and demonstrates the critical importance of trust and social bonding to the functioning of such teams. It reports on the use of a 'Community of Practice' in a virtual team and argues that this may provide one mechanism for overcoming some of the barriers. Finally, it argues that many of the problems stem from a lack of understanding of the new geography of the information economy and that, rather than accepting the notion that 'geography no longer matters', continued efforts must be made to understand the relationship between the physical world in which we live and the electronic world of virtual team working.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Kimble & Alexis Barlow & Feng Li, 2005. "Effective Virtual Teams through Communities of Practice," Industrial Organization 0504006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0504006
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 15. Kimble, Chris, Alexis, Barlow and Li, Feng, 'Effective Virtual Teams through Communities of Practice' (September 2000). Strathclyde Business School Management Science Working Paper No. 2000/9.
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/io/papers/0504/0504006.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gloria Tyxhari & Albana Gorishti & Irena Malolli, 2011. "Progress of Virtual Teams in Albania," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 1, pages 93-103, Janyary.
    2. Diana TÂRNĂVEANU, 2012. "A Virtual Community of Practice Proposal for Business Intelligence Researchers," Informatica Economica, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(3), pages 50-58.
    3. Chris Kimble, 2010. "Building effective virtual teams: How to overcome the problems of trust and identity in virtual teams," Post-Print halshs-00550219, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Virtual Teams; Communities of Practice; Globalisation; Teleworking; Electronic Space; Physical Space;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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