Intelligent Virtual Assistant's Impact on Technical Proficiency within Virtual Teams

Intelligent Virtual Assistant's Impact on Technical Proficiency within Virtual Teams

Christian Graham, Nory B. Jones
DOI: 10.4018/IJVPLE.2016010104
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Information-systems development continues to be a difficult process, particularly for virtual teams that do not have the luxury of meeting face-to-face. The research literature on this topic reinforces this point: the greater part of database systems development projects ends in failure. The use of virtual teams to complete projects further compounds these failures. However, recent developments in intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs), such as Siri, Cortana, or Watson, have created opportunities to automate the systems-development process and improve success rates. Specifically, the use of a virtual assistant possessing key knowledge about database systems development can increase virtual team member technical proficiency in project-based skills. In addition, a virtual assistant can contribute to the development of higher-quality virtual team projects—in this case, database management systems. This observational study found that while the result of statistical analysis was not quite significant, teams that used the IVA did develop higher-quality team projects.
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Literature Review

Impact of Culture on Virtual Teams

Cultural differences within virtual teams can stem from differences in national cultures, as well as regional, work, or socioeconomic cultures. According to Chang, Hung, and Hsieh (2014), people from various countries come to a virtual team with different languages, communication skills, work ethics, and approaches to problem solving. These authors confirm that cultural adaptation has a positive impact on virtual team performance, as people from differing cultures learn about each other and develop effective ways to communicate and collaborate. They also suggest that effective leadership in virtual teams is necessary to keep the teams on task, and to monitor and enhance team behaviors, communications, and processes. El-Sofany, Hassan Alwadani, and Alwadani (2014) similarly suggest that success factors in virtual intercultural teams include good communication, cultural adaptation, technical competence, and good leadership and task focus delivered face-to-face early on.

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