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Using it for knowledge transfer between product development teams: a comparison between virtual and collocated teams

By Alejandro Germán Frank and José Luis Duarte Ribeiro


The mean in which Information Technology (IT) is used for knowledge transfer (KT) between product development project teams depends on the adopted strategy for team working (i.e. virtual teams or collocated teams). This paper aims to analyze the characteristics of the IT used for KT in these two work team strategies, comparing differences between them. In order to achieve this aim, a case study was carried out in two multinational companies from the agriculture machinery industry, each one of them with a different team work strategy. Results show that the company with collocated teams uses IT mainly for knowledge retention in explicit sources. This is because in such case KT occurs by informal channels that lead to knowledge losing risks. On the other hand, company with virtual team strategy uses types of IT to help overcome cultural and physical distances among members. This paper also presents a comparative analysis between both team work strategies by means of a framework based on a socio-technical approach. This approach subdivides IT use in four categories of analysis: (i) Technologies; (ii) People involved; (iii) Work design and (iv) External environment influence

Topics: Tecnologias da Informação. Transferência de conhecimentos. Equipes virtuais. Equipes co-localizadas. Desenvolvimento de produtos., Technology, T, Technology (General), T1-995, Industrial engineering. Management engineering, T55.4-60.8
Publisher: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Year: 2012
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