Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2047915
 


 



Offshore-Onsite Subgroup Dynamics In Globally Distributed Teams


Amar Gupta


Pace University - The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Elisa Mattarelli


University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

April 29, 2012


Abstract:     
Purpose: The increased use of distributed work arrangements across organizational and national borders calls for in-depth investigation of subgroup dynamics in globally distributed teams (GDTs). This paper focuses on the social dynamics that emerge across subgroups of onsite-offshore teams and affect the process of knowledge sharing.

Methodology/Approach: We conducted a qualitative study of 8 GDTs working around the clock. These GDTs were part of organizations involved in offshoring of knowledge intensive work.

Findings: Our evidence shows that the specific status cue of being onsite drives status differentials across subgroups; these differentials are reduced when the client is directly involved with the activities of the team. The negative effect of high status differentials on knowledge sharing is mitigated by the presence of straddlers, who assist in the transfer of codified knowledge. Conversely, when status differentials are low, straddlers hamper spontaneous direct learning between onsite members and offshore members.

Practical implications: Our work has practical implications for organizations that want to use GDTs to achieve a faster (and cheaper) development of products and services. Managers should carefully design the organizational structures of GDTs and consider upfront the trade offs related to client involvement in teamwork and the use of straddlers across sites.

Originality/value of paper: The paper contributes to the literature on subgroup dynamics, applying and extending the theory of status characteristics theory.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

Keywords: globally distributed teams, offshoring, status differentials, knowledge sharing, straddlers

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: April 30, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Gupta, Amar and Mattarelli, Elisa, Offshore-Onsite Subgroup Dynamics In Globally Distributed Teams (April 29, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2047915 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2047915

Contact Information

Amar Gupta (Contact Author)
Pace University - The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems ( email )
163 William Street
New York, NY 10038
United States
Elisa Mattarelli
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia ( email )
Via Amendola 2, Padiglione Morselli
Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia 42100
Italy
+39 0522 522275 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 456
Downloads: 57
Download Rank: 218,142

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.500 seconds