June 21-23 2010, Jyväskylä, Finland info@icsob.org  

Tutorial: Creating Productive Global Virtual Teams: Developing Effective Collaboration across Cultures and Time Zones

In today’s global economy, knowledge workers have to collaborate on a daily basis with colleagues around the world. While travel may be preferred for certain tasks, the bulk of global collaboration is based on technologically-mediated communication. Thus, a new challenge for organizations is in developing the skills, capacities, and attitudes that will make working across cultures and time zones successful.

Our research discovered bits and pieces of how innovative managers facilitated the development of camaraderie, trust and knowledge sharing among the members of global work teams separated by distance and culture. We have packaged these bits and pieces of insights and skills into best practices for building and maintaining trust and effective communication in virtual teams, as well as how to build organic communities.

Unlike traditional cross-cultural training, where the focus is cultural differences and what not to do, this tutorial centers on how relationships are built and sustained in virtual spaces, and how using “everyday ethnography” provides the skills to achieve effective collaboration in global virtual teams.

The tutorial will consist of the following parts:

Global Work Models
-Bridge Team Collaborative Engagement
-Integrated Globally-distributed Team
Barriers to Global Work
-Cultural differences
-Limitations of Computer-mediated Communication
-Loss of Proximity
-Difficulty of building Trust
-Lack of Work Visibility
-Organizational Politics
Building Ethnographic skills
-Unpacking the layers of culture impacting global work
-Unpacking the limitations of Computer-mediated Communication
-Unpacking organizational politics
Overcoming Barriers to Global Work
-Personal Relationship building
-Virtual Community building - Learning from the Open Source Work Environment

Target Audience

The target audiences for this tutorial are professionals who work with team members located overseas, managers who administer the work of offshore vendors, and tomorrows’ global leaders. Academics interested in global virtual teams are welcome.

Tutorial organizer

Donald Chand (Professor of Information& Process Management) joined Bentley University in 1984 as the Chair of the Computer Information Systems Department. Dr. Chand also taught at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Boston University, and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. His current teaching and research interests are in the areas of business process management, offshore outsourcing, distance project management, and CMMI for Services. Dr. Chand has published articles in such flagship journals as the Communications of the ACM, Journal of ACM, IEEE Software, and the Journal of Management Systems. He has been a keynote speaker at regional, national and international conferences. He served as vice president of the New England Chapter of Indian American Federation for Political Education and also the first director of MIT Heritage of the Arts of South Asia (MITHAS), an organization dedicated to fostering the Classical Arts of South Asia.