Managing improvisation in cross cultural virtual teams

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Abstract

Drawing on grounded theory research, we present a grounded model of improvisation in cross cultural contexts, the major contribution of which lies in advancing the concept of the dialectical team, where a minimal structure and a compatible perception of reality foster improvisational action, with diverse members responding to a turbulent environment using simple resources. This arrangement creates the conditions that allow a team to improvise successfully, while remaining both efficient and effective. The model strengthens the argument for a dialectical perspective of organizations, unearths the presence of curvilinear relationships in cross cultural phenomena where linear ones were thought to prevail, and provides alternative answers to some of the problems found in cross cultural research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-208
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Cross Cultural Management
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001

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Keywords

  • Flexibility
  • Improvisation
  • Paradox
  • Teams
  • Virtual work

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