Title: Contribution of virtual teams to learning and knowledge generation in innovation-related projects

Authors: Eric Stevens, Hannu Karkkainen, Hannele Lampela

Addresses: Groupe ESCEM, 1 rue Leo Delibes, BP 0535, 37 205 Tours Cedex, France. ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland. ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Abstract: Virtual Teams (VTs), consisting of participants from many geographically distant subunits, or even belonging to many organisations and communicating mainly through ICT, are used for the purpose of sharing development costs and shortening the time to market. The paper analyses how a VT may facilitate or prevent learning, knowledge generation, and ideation processes in New Product/Service Development (NP/SD). First, the definition of VTs as a specific form of organisation is discussed. Then a review of what has been written about this kind of organisation is given, to provide a better understanding of how this organisational form may impact the NP/SD process. Given the fact that few studies have been produced on the topic, the main research areas requiring further investigations are identified. Managerial recommendations are offered as a conclusion.

Keywords: virtual teams; new product development; NPD; new service development; organisational learning; innovation; knowledge generation; interorganisational learning; teamwork.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2009.023746

International Journal of Product Development, 2009 Vol.8 No.1, pp.1 - 21

Published online: 09 Mar 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article