Management of Distributed Project Teams in Networks
Paul C. van Fenema (Netherlands Defense Academy, The Netherlands), Ilan Oshri (Erasmus University, The Netherlands) and Julia Kotlarsky (University of Warwick, UK)
Copyright: © 2008
Today’s global economy depends on intra- and interorganizational distributed teams consisting of diversely specialized professionals for creating value in networks (DeSanctis & Fulk, 1999; Gerwin & Ferris, 2004), relying on accessible information and communication technologies (ICT) and infrastructures (Sobol & Apte, 1995). Distributed project teams represent a common organizational form for developing, connecting, and deploying diverse sources of expertise (Kotlarsky & Oshri, 2005). Resources in newly developed economies such as China and India are connected with those in developed countries in industries like software development, car manufacturing, electronics, transportation, pharmaceutical research, and business services. Noncommercial examples of distributed projects include education (Cramton, 2001), disaster response, global disease control, and (regional) policy development.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Electronic technical artifacts that process data inputs and deliver outputs according to design specifications and options of use.
Project Method: A specific approach to making sense of project work of and to structuring activities with the intention of achieving stakeholder expectations.
Coordination: Interrelating expectations and contributions of interdependent actors in a meaningful manner.
Distributed Team: A group of professionals working from geographically dispersed locations with the intention of merging their contributions for a relevant process and result.
Network society: “A society in which a combination of social and media networks shapes its prime mode of organization and most important structures at all levels (individual, organizational and societal)” (Van Dijk, 2005).
Project Knowledge Management: The task of identifying, coordinating, and integrating skills and expertise of project participants and stakeholders.
Control: Ensuring that contributions of individuals meet relevant expectations.