Resource title

Escalation of disengagement across distributed groups: ownership and opacity

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Resource description

An ethnographic study of a team of software developers working on a new product across two sites - the West Coast of the US and Bangalore in India - examines the process of disengagement occurring between these two groups. The focus is on the relationship between the collaboration across the two groups and their members, and on the members' interpretations of this relationship. A key finding is that the changing task characteristics in the form of code ownership had a substantial impact on engagement. Also, information technology was not used to its full extent to foster communication across remote groups; on the contrary, one group even cultivated the existing opacity between sites. The joint consequence of these dynamics was that the engagement of individuals in work and of groups with each other was difficult to achieve and sustain across distributed sites. Furthermore, the superimposition of geographic and status distance in remote work lowered the cost of exclusion of one group from the collaboration, and led to the escalation of the disengagement between remote groups.

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Resource language

en

Resource content type

application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2004/2004-13.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved