Use of Collaborative Technologies and Knowledge Sharing in Co-Located and Distributed Teams: Towards the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory

Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS), 2009

Posted: 8 Sep 2009 Last revised: 22 Sep 2009

Amar Gupta

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Elisa Mattarelli

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Satwik Seshasai

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Joseph P. Broschak

University of Arizona

Date Written: September 8, 2009

Abstract

The relocation of knowledge work to emerging countries is leading to an increasing use of Globally Distributed Teams (GDT) engaged in complex tasks. In the present study, we investigate a particular type of GDT working ‘around the clock’: the 24 hours knowledge factory (Gupta, 2008). Adopting the productivity perspective on knowledge sharing (Haas and Hansen, 2005, 2007), we develop 11 hypotheses to compare technology use, knowledge sharing processes, and performance of a 24 hours knowledge factory with a co-located team. We conducted a quasi-experiment in IBM and collected both quantitative and qualitative data, over a period of 12 months, on a GDT and a co-located team. Both teams were composed of the same number of professionals, provided with the same technologies, engaged in similar tasks, and given similar deadlines. We found that they differed in their use of technologies and in knowledge sharing processes, but not in efficiency and quality of outcomes. We show how the co-located team and the GDT enacted a knowledge codification strategy and a personalization strategy respectively; in each case, they grafted elements of the other strategy in order to attain both knowledge re-use and creativity. We conclude by discussing theoretical contributions to knowledge sharing and GDT literatures, and by highlighting managerial implications to those organizations interested in developing a fully functional 24 hour knowledge factory.

Keywords: Globally Distributed Teams, 24 hours knowledge factory, knowledge sharing

Suggested Citation

Gupta, Amar and Mattarelli, Elisa and Seshasai, Satwik and Broschak, Joseph P., Use of Collaborative Technologies and Knowledge Sharing in Co-Located and Distributed Teams: Towards the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory (September 8, 2009). Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS), 2009 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1469946

Amar Gupta (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Building 32-256
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
617-253-0418 (Phone)

Elisa Mattarelli

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia ( email )

Via Amendola 2, Padiglione Morselli
Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia 42100
Italy
+39 0522 522275 (Phone)

Satwik Seshasai

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science ( email )

47 Norris Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
United States
617-233-6725 (Phone)

Joseph P. Broschak

University of Arizona ( email )

Eller College of Management
405 McClelland Hall, 1130 E. Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
(520) 626-0464 (Phone)
(520) 621-4171 (Fax)

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