Managing barriers of virtual communication in global new product development projects
by Päivi Lohikoski; Jaakko Kujala; Harri Haapasalo; Janne Härkönen; Leena Ala-Mursula
International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations (IJNVO), Vol. 15, No. 4, 2015

Abstract: In virtual operating environments for new product development (NPD) increase the need to manage communication efficiently. The goal of communication is to reach a shared understanding; however, this is often challenging due to barriers that harm the communication process. Communication barriers typically cause misunderstandings and conflicts and hinder access to relevant information, causing delays in projects and some even fail in reaching their strategic or operational objectives. In addition to identifying the barriers, the main aim of the study was to discover ways of overcoming these barriers. We conducted a multi-method case study in a global telecommunications company. The theoretical base was built on virtual team literature and the theory of communication in virtual NPD teams' context. The key finding of this study is that main barriers to communication are egocentrism, information-sharing behaviour, inadequate language skills, mistrust, communication distortions and miscommunication. In addition, we identify specific managerial implications for organising communications in virtual projects.

Online publication date: Thu, 24-Dec-2015

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