Calls for papers
European Journal of International Management
Special Section on: "X-Culture and Global Virtual Teams (GVT): New Directions for Cross-Cultural Collaboration, Remote Work and Leadership in GVT"
Dr. Vasyl Taras, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA
Dr. Alfredo Jiménez, Kedge Business School, France
Dr. Ursula Ott, Nottingham Trent University, UK
The COVID-19 pandemic has had and is having a huge impact on the way people behave and interact. One of the areas impacted most is the workplace. A growing number of companies rely on remote work whenever possible. Furthermore, there is a stronger reliance on online collaboration among workgroup members located in different countries. Likewise, there is a trend in education to rely more on remote instruction and online delivery of courses, internships and practicums.
The use of Global Virtual Teams (GVTs) in both the workplace and academia has been on the rise for at least a decade. Defined as “temporary, culturally diverse, geographically dispersed, and electronically communicating work group[s]” (Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1999, p. 792), GVTs allow for the achievement of a common purpose by relying on information and communication technologies (ICTs) that permit interactions through interdependent tasks (Lipnack and Stamps, 1997).
The development and ubiquity of ICTs have significantly changed work structures and dynamics within organisations over the decades, leading to increasing use of GVTs (Webster and Wong, 2008; Jiménez et al., 2017). Thus, GVTs allow the circumvention of geographic and time boundaries, reducing not only travel time and costs, but also the challenges of immigration and the burdens of relocation of expatriates. Furthermore, due to the diversity of backgrounds (Bjorvatn and Wald, in press), the diversity of the resources available to the team rises (van Knippenberg et al., 2004), increasing the ability to solve problems (Taras et al., 2019). Online communication can also reduce conflict, and social fragmentation in an intercultural context (Stahl et al., 2010; Stahl and Maznevski, 2021), and even the team members’ greater autonomy can lead to enhanced motivation and job satisfaction (Nurmi and Hinds, 2016). However, GVTs also imply challenges in terms of coordination costs and time-zone differences (Sutanto et al., 2011), cohesion (Tavoletti, et al. in press), communication problems, social categorisation, biases, and lower trust (Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1998; Klitmøller et al., 2015; Kardell et al., in press). Working in a GVT is far from easy and most employees will likely struggle with this transition (Baker et al., in press; Davaei et al., in press).
Overall, the necessity to work and collaborate remotely is becoming primordial to overcome the current situation, leading to a “master GVT, or perish” world. In contrast, and despite some efforts in universities’ business schools to include GVT training in their curricula to learn how to deal with these challenges (Taras et al., 2013; 2021), the majority of workers are not fully accustomed to it.
X-Culture is a large-scale international experiential learning project that involves over 5,000 MBA and business students from over 120 universities from 40 countries on six continents every semester. Additionally, up to 1,000 non-student professionals take part in the project every semester. Over 100,000 people, who worked in more than 12,000 GVTs, have participated in the project since its inception in 2010.
The students are placed in global virtual teams of about six, each coming from a different country. Working with people from around the globe and dealing with cultural differences, time-zone dispersion and global communication challenges, the teams complete a consulting project for a multinational company. Over the years, X-Culture has amassed a large database that contains extensive records on the performance and dynamics in these teams. The database contains over 3,000 variables that describe participants’ demographics, culture, attitudes and perceptions, personality, individual and team performance, as well as communication, leadership, conflicts, and decision-making in the teams. The data are longitudinal (up to 12 weekly waves of the survey throughout the project), multi-level (individual, team, university, country data), multi-source (self-reports, peer evaluations, external expert evaluations, administrative records), and multi-method (qualitative and quantitative).
The data collection and research efforts have been reviewed and approved by research ethics committees and institutional review boards at various institutions worldwide.
The data are uniquely suited for studying GVTs, groupwork and cross-cultural interactions, but also a wide range of other issues related to international business, experiential and online education, as well as human behavior in groups and organisations in a variety of contexts and situations.
X-Culture is open to collaboration with external researchers. Over 900 business professors have participated in X-Culture over the years, and many of them use the data for research purposes. The data can be requested for studies that address previously unexplored research questions and, contingent upon IRB approval, new data could be collected to test new research ideas. More inofrmation about how to submit such a request is available here: https://x-culture.org/for-researchers/data/
For this special section of EJIM, we invite both conceptual and empirical papers that examine issues related to GVTs, cross-cultural collaboration, experiential learning methods in international management/international business education, and other related issues studied using X-Culture or other data on GVTs.
We accept both full-length paper submissions as well as shorter research notes (approx. 3,000-5,000 words).Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Determinants and characteristics of successful GVTs
- Advantages and disadvantages of GVTs vis à vis traditional collocated teams
- Leadership and team dynamics in GVTs
- Improving interpersonal communication, team cohesion and trust among GVT members
- The impact of cross-cultural and other differences among GVT members on team outcomes (e.g. team performance)
- Information and communication technologies and GVTs
- Language-related issues in GVTs
- The multifaceted role of distance (geographical, institutional, psychic, cultural, etc.) in GVTs
- The relationship between the use of GVTs and firm-level outcomes (e.g. firm performance)
- The role of GVTs in global business strategy
- GVTs and employee satisfaction
- Reducing shirking and freeloading in GVTs
- Training employees and students on how to effectively work in a GVT
- International management/international business education, particularly methods related to experiential and online learning in the context of GVTs
- Trends in the use of GVTs around the world – who makes use of them, who doesn’t, for what purpose, and why?
Notes for Prospective Authors
Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).
All papers are refereed through a peer review process.
All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.
Manuscripts due by*: 15 November, 2035
*This is an ongoing special section to which authors can submit manuscripts any time. Earlier submissions will be featured in earlier issues special sections.
Notification to authors: Editorial decisions are immediate (less than two months from submission), and we aim for review processes of 2-3 months per review round. Decisions will be taken on a submission-by-submission basis as and when each manuscript is submitted.