Knowledge Transfer and Sharing in Globally Distributed Teams

Knowledge Transfer and Sharing in Globally Distributed Teams

Ilan Oshri (Erasmus University, The Netherlands), Julia Kotlarsky (University of Warwick, UK) and Paul C. van Fenema (Netherlands Defense Academy, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-885-7.ch104
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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed the globalisation of many industries. Consequently, globally distributed and virtual teams have become increasingly common in many areas, for example, in new product development and information systems (IS) development. Achieving successful collaborations has become a key challenge for globally distributed organizations, and it is largely dependent on teams’ ability to transfer and share knowledge.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Knowledge Worker: Participants in an economy where information and its manipulation are the commodity and the main activity (Drucker, 1969). Some examples of knowledge workers include, but are not limited to, researchers, product developers, engineers, and resource planners.

Collaborative tools: Tools such as groupware that enable both structured and free-flow sharing of knowledge and best practices. An example is Lotus Notes.

Collective Memory: The collection of memories shared by a common culture.

Knowledge Sharing: The process through which information or knowledge held by an individual is disseminated throughout the organization.

Transactive Memory: The combination of individual memory systems and communications (also referred to as ‘transactions’) between individuals.

Knowledge Transfer: The process through which one organization unit identifies, learns and (re)applies routines in a specific area from another organization unit.

Trust: The willingness of one person or group to relate to another in the belief that the other’s action will be beneficial rather than detrimental, even though this cannot be guaranteed (Child, 2001).

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