Reviewing the Contributing Factors and Benefits of Distributed Collaboration

Kevin O’Leary, Rob Gleasure, Philip O'Reilly, Joseph Feller

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Distributed collaboration has become increasingly common across many domains, ranging from software development, to information processing, to the creative arts, to entertainment. At the time of writing, the adoption of Distributed Collaboration has thrust into the limelight as organizations across the globe are forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, researchers have applied a myriad of terms to define these operations, we first addressed this issue by developing a definition of Distributed Collaboration which is representative of all its forms. Existing research has identified several factors that contribute to the success of Distributed Collaborations. Yet these factors are typically discussed in modular theoretical terms, meaning researchers and practitioners often struggle to identify and synthesize literature spanning multiple domains and perspectives. This research performs a systematic literature review to bring together core findings into one amalgamated model. This model categorizes the contributing factors for Distributed Collaboration along two axes (i) whether they are social or material (ii) whether they are endemic or relational. The relationships between factors is also explicitly discussed. The model further links these contributing factors to different collaborative outcomes, specifically mutual learning, relationship building, communication, task completion speed, access to skilled personnel, and cost savings.
TidsskriftCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)476-520
Antal sider45
StatusUdgivet - 2020


  • Distributed collaboration
  • Contributing factors
  • Model
  • Success
  • Literature review