The relocation of knowledge work to emerging countries is leading to an increasing use of globally distributed teams (GDT) engaged in complex tasks. In the present study, we investigate a particular type of GDT working 'around the clock': the 24-h knowledge factory (Gupta, 2008). Adopting the productivity perspective on knowledge sharing (Haas and Hansen, 2005, 2007), we hypothesize how a 24-h knowledge factory and a co-located team will differ in technology use, knowledge sharing processes, and performance. We conducted a quasi-experiment in IBM, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data, over a period of 12 months, on a GDT and a co-located team. Both teams were composed of the same number of professionals, provided with the same technologies, engaged in similar tasks, and given similar deadlines. We found significant differences in their use of technologies and in knowledge sharing processes, but not in efficiency and quality of outcomes. We show how the co-located team and the GDT enacted a knowledge codification strategy and a personalization strategy, respectively; in each case grafting elements of the other strategy in order to attain both knowledge re-use and creativity. We conclude by discussing theoretical contributions to knowledge sharing and GDT literatures, and by highlighting managerial implications to those organizations interested in developing a fully functional 24-h knowledge factory.
- 24-h Knowledge factory
- Globally distributed teams
- Knowledge sharing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management Information Systems
- Information Systems
- Information Systems and Management