Dispersed, cross-functional development teams—a particular type of virtual team—confront a wide range of knowledge-based challenges in their dispersed work. Encompassing diverse sources of task-relevant knowledge, such teams present rich opportunities for exchanging and combining knowledge—activities at the heart of an organization’s ability to innovate (Grant 1996; Schumpeter 1934). Yet empirical studies from distinct research streams indicate that both knowledge diversity and geographic separation also challenge the effective exchange and ability to leverage knowledge. This study explored how such teams interact to overcome the barriers and reap the benefits of their “built-in” knowledge diversity. In particular, we sought to understand (1) how teams use various collaborative technologies at their disposal to share knowledge and (2) whether shared—or disparate—expectations around the use of those technologies influenced knowledge sharing practices. In-depth, multi-method field research of dispersed new product development teams in a multinational company forms the empirical basis of this work.
Sole, Deborah and Applegate, Lynda, "Knowledge Sharing Practices and Technology Use Norms in Dispersed Development Teams" (2000). ICIS 2000 Proceedings. 61.