Investigating Cultural Differences in Virtual Software Teams
Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries
Software development projects increasingly extend over the boundaries set by a single company, or country. As the a vailable communication media becomes more sophisticated, and more advanced technology costs less, the trends in software development move towards a more "virtual" nature. This evolutionary process allows individuals or even teams from different locations a nd cultures, with different expectations and goals, to blend in a virtual team of effectively collaborating and coordinating
... mbers. This paper focuses on virtual software development teams and how cultural differences between them or their members may a ffect activities in different stages of the development cycle. It briefly reviews the existing perspectives on virtual teams and their organisation and management. It also discusses the main characteristics that such teams have and clarifies the differences between various definitions available for the "virtual team". After outlining some of the main benefits and barriers of such teams, it concentrates on justifying that cultural differences are one of the most important issues that should be addressed for these teams to work effectively. Next, existing theories on cultural differences are reviewed. Also, the requirements for modelling cultural difference issues are identified. Finally, it provides evidence for the need of computational support for effectively resolving conflicts, forming teams, dynamically allocating roles, and managing software engineering projects in culturally diverse environments.