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Behavioral adaptation within cross-cultural virtual teams

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2 Author(s)
D. Anawati ; Sch. of Inf. Syst., Deakin Univ., Geelong, Vic., Australia ; A. Craig

With today's business environments no longer confined to national borders, much work is undertaken in global virtual teams. Such teams consist of members located in different countries that communicate via technology media to complete a project task. Much of the research in this area has been focused on the technological aspects of such environments; there is, however, a lack of research into the behavioral aspects and the issue of cultural differences in particular. It has been acknowledged that when cultural diversity is neither recognized nor acted upon, significant challenges can arise for the team. Current advice in the literature suggests that team members should adapt their normal working behavior in consideration of cultural differences. However, there is little indication of how team members should do so. This study investigated if and/or how team members adapt their behavior in cross-cultural virtual teams. The results of this study indicate that team members can adapt their behavior in both spoken and written communication as well as allowing for religious beliefs and time zone differences. This paper discusses specifically how behavior can be adapted, including a discussion of behaviors that caused concern. Finally, a framework of behavioral adaptations is presented for ways to improve cross-cultural virtual team interactions.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 1 )