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Media selection in IT offshore teams: findings from an industry survey


Wykowski, S; King, G; Wende, Erik; Philip, Tom (2012). Media selection in IT offshore teams: findings from an industry survey. In: Sixth Global Sourcing Workshop, Courchevel, France, 12 March 2012 - 15 March 2012.

Abstract

This exploratory study captures media selection practices in offshore outsourced teams. The findings are based on a survey of 114 respondents, 72 of whom have directly participated in global virtual teams.Local resource constraints and the need to be cost-effective have driven many companies tosend various business functions offshore. Several studies have reported on failed offshore outsourcing projects that annually end up costing participant organizations billions of dollars. Why do such projects fail? Among the most common reasons are the communication challenges inherent to offshoreprojects. Members of a global team face many well-documented challenges (language barriers,cultural differences, organizational differences) and choice of media in particular has an impact on team performance.The significance of media selection was particularly evident in our research in relation to conflicts within teams, which were largely attributable to less rich, low-synchronous media. A further key finding that the research identifies is a high success rate of global virtual teams and a correlationbetween use of instant messaging and team success, with instant messaging users being significantly more likely to report a very effective team and very high team satisfaction. Furthermore the researchindicates no correlation between face-to-face meetings, more effective teamwork and higher team satisfaction. This was an unexpected result, as it is contrary to the common understanding. The last section of the paper proposes avenues for further research.

Abstract

This exploratory study captures media selection practices in offshore outsourced teams. The findings are based on a survey of 114 respondents, 72 of whom have directly participated in global virtual teams.Local resource constraints and the need to be cost-effective have driven many companies tosend various business functions offshore. Several studies have reported on failed offshore outsourcing projects that annually end up costing participant organizations billions of dollars. Why do such projects fail? Among the most common reasons are the communication challenges inherent to offshoreprojects. Members of a global team face many well-documented challenges (language barriers,cultural differences, organizational differences) and choice of media in particular has an impact on team performance.The significance of media selection was particularly evident in our research in relation to conflicts within teams, which were largely attributable to less rich, low-synchronous media. A further key finding that the research identifies is a high success rate of global virtual teams and a correlationbetween use of instant messaging and team success, with instant messaging users being significantly more likely to report a very effective team and very high team satisfaction. Furthermore the researchindicates no correlation between face-to-face meetings, more effective teamwork and higher team satisfaction. This was an unexpected result, as it is contrary to the common understanding. The last section of the paper proposes avenues for further research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:15 March 2012
Deposited On:29 Jan 2013 09:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:25
Related URLs:http://www.globalsourcing.org.uk/
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:7779

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