Virtual Team Culture: A Framework

Giorgio Marinelli & Troels Sune Hoe

Student thesis: Diploma thesis

Abstract

Automation is about to take over an increasing number of routine knowledge tasks. As entire industries move focus towards more cognitively complex tasks and the Boomers and GenX are replaced by a smaller age cohort, the Millennials, companies will increasingly compete over a particularly scarce recourse: talents. Geographically dispersed virtual teams will allow companies to search for talents anywhere. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of virtuality on the culture of teams working on complex problem solving. We analyse the differences between Millennials and previous generations. Although research thoroughly discusses virtual team performance, the literature lacks both a framework and empirical evidence on the perspective of the worker and especially of the Millennials. We employ a deductive-inductive research design. Our primary data consists of ten interviews with experienced virtual workers. Secondary data consists of fourteen additional interviews and online forums. We contribute with a framework for organising the literature. Through our data, we confirm and elaborate on existing concepts, i.e. trust, social identity, conflict, leadership and structures; and we propose new ones: autonomy, flexibility and efficiency. We find a surprising tendency among Millennials to disregard corporate practices aimed at building teams and organisational culture. Our findings has potential to support companies in creating highly engaged and thus highly performing virtual teams and contribute to further elaboration and formulation of theories on virtual team culture and innovation.

EducationsGraduate Diploma in Innovation Management, (Diploma Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages77
SupervisorsMarion Poetz