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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

A modem geographically dispersed workforce often takes the form of virtual teams, where competent individuals located anywhere in a transnational firm represent organizational knowledge assets that need to interact to accomplish organizational tasks. This new organization form is likely to be most fruitful when virtual team members have skills with the supporting technologies, an aptitude for asynchronous, distributed teamwork, and often, some sensitivity to cultural issues that may arise when working with a colleague from another culture. We argue that this work form is becoming increasingly common, and that exposure to it is beneficial to undergraduate and graduate students who are likely to work in this fashion at some point in their careers. We offer a model for the study of virtual teamwork and brief reviews of relevant literatures on virtual team support technologies and cross-cultural management issues pertaining to technology use. We present here an exercise that involved U.S. and Mexican MBA students in a cross-cultural virtual teamwork experience, offer some suggestions for using this type of exercise in an undergraduate or graduate MIS or MBA course, and some of observations gathered along the way.

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