This paper explores the neglected area of social ties in globally dispersed teams. The paper proposes a framework in which three stages in the development of social ties in a globally distributed team are considered: before face-to-face (F2F), during F2F, and after F2F meetings. These stages constitute the lifecycle of social ties in globally distributed teams. Based on data collected at LeCroy and SAP, various activities and mechanisms at the individual, group, and organizational level that support the build-up and renewal of social ties between distributed teams are proposed. In applying these activities and mechanisms, the case firms shifted from investing in the introduction of remote counterparts to creating trust and rapport between remote counterparts and eventually to continuously renewing these social ties. The paper concludes by offering managers practical implications and making suggestions for future research.
Oshri, Ilan; Kotlarsky, Julia; and Willcocks, Leslie, "Before, During, and After Face-to-Face Meetings: The Lifecycle of Social Ties in Globally Distributed Teams" (2005). ICIS 2005 Proceedings. 33.