Managing Globally Distributed Teams

  • Ilan Oshri
  • Julia Kotlarsky
  • Leslie P. Willcocks


Globally distributed work is an integral part of offshore outsourcing and offshoring. Offshore outsourcing often implies that the client and supplier teams need to work together in a globally distributed fashion. In such cases, some teams will be based onshore, at either the client’s site or the supplier’s onshore site, and others will be based offshore. In a similar vein, when a client firm sets up offshore facilities, it divides work between onshore and offshore locations, and often such distributed work requires close collaboration between members of globally distributed teams. Globally distributed teams consist of two or more (sub-)teams working together from different geographical locations to accomplish joint goals. These teams face major challenges on various fronts, including cultural differences, language barriers, national traditions, values, norms of behaviour and time-zone differences. Therefore, this chapter focuses on the following topics:
  • The challenges faced by distributed teams such as offshore outsourcing teams

  • The methodologies available for managing globally distributed teams

  • The tools and technologies available to support distributed collaboration

  • The role of face-to-face (F2F) meetings in facilitating collaboration and other social aspects that matter for distributed collaboration

  • Cultural aspects that emerge in outsourcing and offshoring engagements

  • What client firms can do to help build truly collaborative teams.


Voice Over Internet Protocol Transformational Technology Collaborative Technology Global Team Electronic Meeting System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Ilan Oshri, Julia Kotlarsky and Leslie P. Willcocks 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilan Oshri
    • 1
  • Julia Kotlarsky
    • 2
  • Leslie P. Willcocks
    • 3
  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityUK
  2. 2.Aston UniversityUK
  3. 3.London School of EconomicsLondonUK

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