When global virtual teams share knowledge: Media richness, cultural difference and language commonality
- Department of Business Administration, Aarhus University, Haslegaardsvej 10, 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark
- Available online 21 July 2012.
Technological developments and internationalization have made virtual communication a central part of everyday life in many larger organizations. In recent years this trend has been intensified by travel-budget cuts imposed by the global financial crisis. Accordingly, the use of virtual media for internal knowledge sharing is now more important than ever before. Extant studies have provided useful theories and empirical documentation on how to manage global virtual teams. However, no prior research has examined the interaction of media type with the relation between culture/language and canonical/equivocal knowledge sharing. This is an important omission because cultural and linguistic variations are known to have a great effect on knowledge sharing. We use ethnographic field-study methodology for an exploratory examination of the effects of culture, shared language commonality and media choice on knowledge sharing in a large Danish MNC with particular focus on its Indian subsidiary. Results show that certain types of media are more useful for certain types of knowledge sharing depending on the cultural and linguistic variation between the communicating parties.
- Multinational corporations;
- Knowledge sharing;
- Inter-unit communication;
- Language use;
- Cultural distance;
- Intercultural communication;
- Multicultural teams