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Introduction

  • Thomas AfflerbachEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)

Abstract

Working in virtual teams is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception. One organizational context, where the number of virtual teams has increased significantly in recent years is the Shared Services Organization. Yet, despite their popularity, such virtual teams are fraught with problems of cooperation, as they are prone to suffer from social dilemma situations due to circumstantial, i.e. contextual, reasons. Moreover, the risk of a cooperation problem is not only particularly high, but also difficult to manage in virtual teams. However, our knowledge on how members of hybrid virtual teams in Shared Services Organizations can overcome the cooperation problem is very limited. Therefore the goal of the study presented in this book is to expand our understanding of how cooperation can be fostered in the challenging context of hybrid virtual teams in Shared Services Organizations. I conducted an in-depth qualitative study and identified thirteen different expressions of contextual challenges categorized in ‘faultlines through distance’, ‘disconnection through communication technology’ and ‘discontinuity through temporality of team composition’, which may lead to cooperation problems of hybrid virtual teams in Shared Services Organizations. In a similar context-sensitive manner, this study allows me to expound twenty-two different practices to foster cooperation in such a challenging team context. These practices can be categorized in ‘strategy of identity constructing’, ‘strategy of trusting’ and ‘strategy of virtual peer monitoring’ and can be used by the individual team members to foster cooperation. Further,  I show how technology can facilitate, but not ensure, the use of these strategies and practices to foster cooperation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cooperative StudiesBerlin School of Economics and Law, University of Applied SciencesBerlinGermany

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