Trust and relational development represents a critical challenge in online collaboration groups. Often the problem is attributed to several factors including physical distances, time differences, cultures, and other contributing factors. The challenge in virtual teams centers on creating a successful cohort that functions as a team and develops a sense of trust and cohesion in the process of accomplishing respective group goals. However, the lack of trust in online groups hinders relational development. The author contends that while online collaboration can be clouded by problems with trust and relational synergy as a whole, the problem is exacerbated in international online or e-Collaborative groups. The development of trust is essential to relational synergy and warmth that fosters successful task and social goal accomplishment. After reviewing related and extant research in online communication, the author offers some practical suggestions for facilitating and sustaining trust and relational synergy in international online collaboration with information communication technologies (ICTs).
Main Focus Of The Chapter
International online collaboration (e-Collaborative) teams represent a way for including employees in organizational participation and decision making processes (Olaniran, 2007a). Although one study showed that employee participation is correlated with commitment and that committed employees are more likely to be intrinsically fulfilled and have positive relational synergy with other employees (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990), one must be aware that commitment to an organization as a whole and commitment to work teams are different ideas (Becker & Billings, 1993; Morrow, 1993).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC): Computer-mediated communication involves communication interactions that exist over computer networks.
Virtual Collaboration: Consists of communication interaction taking place in a virtual space with the aid of communication and information technologies.
Collaboration: Involves interaction among individuals over electronic technology medium.
Globalization: Involves economic and socio-cultural ideas where organizations are able transcend national geographic and cultural boundaries through convergence of space and time in attempt to accomplish goals.
Culture: Consists of different value preferences that influence communication interaction and how people create meaning.
Online Interaction: Involves individuals or group engaging in communication process that is taking place over Internet or technology network environment.
Cultural Communication Competence: Focuses on communicators’ ability to interact with members of another culture in a way that is both effective and appropriate in terms of goal accomplishment.
International Online Collaboration: Involves groups or team of individuals from different countries and national cultures operating in a virtual workspaces made possible by information communication technologies.