EFFECTIVE VIRTUAL TEAMS FOR NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Effective Virtual Teams for New Product Development
Cite: Ale Ebrahim, N., Ahmed, S., Abdul Rashid, S. H., & Taha, Z. (2012). Effective Virtual Teams for New Product Development. [Full Length Research Paper]. Scientific Research and Essay, 7(21), 1971-1985.
Literature shows the factors that impact on the effectiveness of virtual teams for new product development, are still ambiguous. To address this problem, we developed a research design that included a literature review, a preliminary model and field survey. The literature identified factors which impact on the effectiveness of virtual teams. These factors were then modified by a field survey. We explore the relationship between knowledge worker (people), process and technology in virtual teams. The results of the study suggest that technology and process are tightly correlated and need to be considered early in virtual teams. Software as a service, web solution, report generator and tracking system in effective virtual teams should consider for leading such a new phenomena.
Virtual teams; Collaboration; Questionnaires; Communication; Information; Integration; Performance; Success; Cross-Functional Teams; Product Development;
1 INTRODUCTIONNowadays, a virtual team allows work to be carried out over computer networks and reduces the need for teams to be collocated. Virtual teams are defined as “small temporary groups of geographically, organizationally and/or time dispersed knowledge workers who coordinate their work, mainly with electronic information and communication technologies to carry out one or more organization tasks” (Ale Ebrahim et al., 2009b). We are becoming more virtual all the time!” is heard in many global corporations today (Chudoba et al., 2005). On the other hand, new product development (NPD) is widely recognized as a key to corporate prosperity (Lam et al., 2007). Different products may need different processes. A new product idea needs to be conceived, selected, developed, tested and launched to the market (Martinez-Sanchez et al., 2006). The specialized skills and talents required for the development of new products often reside (and develop) locally in pockets of excellence around the company or even around the world. Firms, therefore, have no choice but to disperse their new product units to access such dispersed knowledge and skills (Kratzer et al., 2005). As a result, firms are finding that internal development of all technology needed for new products and processes are difficult or impossible. They must increasingly receive technology from external sources (Stock and Tatikonda, 2004).
Virtualization in NPD has recently started to make serious headway due to developments in technology - virtuality in NPD which is now technically possible (Leenders et al., 2003). As product development becomes the more complex, supply chain also have to collaborate more closely than in the past. These kinds of collaborations almost always involve individuals from different locations, so virtual team working supported by information technology (IT), offers notable potential benefits (Anderson et al., 2007). Although the use of the internet in NPD has received notable attention in the literature, little is written about collaborative tool and effective virtual teams for NPD (Ale Ebrahim et al., 2009a).
This paper is structured as follows. First, the motivation for the study is initially described. Next, we draw on prior research to derive the items that comprise the effectiveness of virtual teams. Then we present our methods and results of our analyses. The paper infers with a discussion and future guidelines.
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