This book focuses on virtual teams, which are fraught with cooperation problems. It offers novel insights into how team members experience and overcome these problems by empirically studying hybrid virtual teams in Shared Services Organizations. It firstly enhances the reader's understanding of contextual challenges relating to cooperation and shows how members of such teams experience faultlines through distance, disconnection through reliance on communication technology and discontinuity through temporality of team composition. Secondly, it explores how they use 22 practices to overcome the cooperation problem, which can be categorized as strategies of identity constructing, trusting and virtual peer monitoring. Lastly, the study analyzes the role of technology, demonstrating that state-of-the-art media can facilitate, but not ensure the use of these strategies and practices. As such, the book has implications for both researchers and practitioners.
Thomas Afflerbach is Visiting Professor of Business Administration, especially Service Management, at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, University of Applied Sciences. He earned a Master degree in Business Studies and a PhD in Social Sciences at the University of Konstanz. He obtained diverse work experience at an international train manufacturer.. Since a couple of years he consults teams and teaches innovation methods, for instance as a Design Thinking Coach at the Hasso-Plattner-Institute Academy at the University of Potsdam. His current research and teaching focuses on user-centered Innovation Management (Service Design and Design Thinking), Human Resource Management and Organization Studies, Digitalization of Service Companies, Marketing, New Ways of Working e.g. Virtual Teams and Trust in Organizations.
Introduction.- Theory: Challenges for Cooperation.- Theory: Solutions to Foster Cooperation.- Method.- Findings: Expression of Contextual Challenges.- Findings: Practices to Foster Cooperation.- Discussion.- Conclusion.