Organising for networking and virtual teams – the effects of the legal environment
by Anne-Mari Makinen, Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Amir Hassan
International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations (IJNVO), Vol. 5, No. 3/4, 2008

Abstract: Networking and teamwork have become increasingly typical ways of organising work in and between companies. These new forms of work provide companies with varying opportunities, but they may also be challenging to organise. One area having an effect on these challenges is legislation that has been developed with the traditional ways of organising work in mind. Indeed, questions related to teamwork are, to a large extent, unregulated in most of the member states of the EU, for example. The problem is that traditional labour law does not necessarily apply too well to new working practices, which, may lead to high levels of uncertainty in managing virtual teams and networking efforts, and makes it harder to be sure that the outcomes are what they are expected to be. This is even more highlighted when networking takes place across country boundaries. The purpose of this study is to examine the legislative environment of networking and teamwork, and especially virtual teams. Our focus is on bringing out potential problems in interpreting and applying labour law to new forms of work. The examination is, to a large extent, based on the evaluation of legislation and theory, and these issues are also illustrated and clarified through a mini case study. Our findings indicate that the lack of explicit legislation for managing virtual teams need not be detrimental, if the firms utilising such forms of work are knowledgeable of legislation and capable of drafting clear contracts.

Online publication date: Thu, 19-Jun-2008

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