Remote control: A study on communication management in virtual projects
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
As the world is becoming more and more globalized, business has to take the global marketplace into serious consideration. This is not just about new markets to sell products in, but also where to locate production and where to source resources from. With the launch of new communication technology it has also become easier and easier to cooperate across national borders without having to meet face-to-face. This has led to an increased demand on project managers concerning how to manage the communication within their project teams since they now can have members located in different geographical locations.
The main purpose of this research was to develop a deeper understanding about how project managers are managing communication within virtual teams. This was firstly done by through a literature review of the present knowledge in the field identifying five sub topics of interest.
- Communication channels
- Skills for effective communication
- Dealing with technology
- Dealing with differences in culture and language
- Managing trust and relationships
These sub topics were used through the rest of the thesis as the structure of the argumentation. The empirical research consisted of a deductive interview study of four respondents within the ICT sectors in Sweden and Denmark.
Through the analysis and the conclusions all the topics were discussed in detail, where we got to know more about how they can be used to manage communication in virtual project teams. Something that came up in the analysis was the role of corporate culture in dealing with challenges in virtual communication, which in the end was suggested as a main topic for future research.
Different communication channels showed to be good for different things, both in terms of the efficiency of the communication but also for things such as facilitating engagement and accountability. There seem to be no clear understanding of what skills are required for efficient work in virtual teams, both in the present knowledge in the field and among the respondents. For managing technology it showed to be important to make sure that the technology works, that the team members know how to use it and why, and to find ways to warm up the media by making it more personal. Differences in culture and language were found to best be dealt with by building trust within the team and creating an understanding of the existing differences. Asynchronous communication showed to be effective for dealing with bigger language problems. The solutions for managing trust and relationships mainly revolved around social communication and getting to know each other better in the beginning, and around regular and predictable communication in the long run.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 46 p.
Virtual communication, virtual projects, virtual project management, project management
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32499OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-32499DiVA: diva2:303685
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Söderholm, Anders, Professor
Nilsson, Kerstin, Tf studirektor