Closing the distance: A qualitative study of connective processes and interaction in global project teams
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- Institutt for psykologi 
In order to meet the demands of a global, complex and dynamic society, organizations are increasingly relying on virtual project team settings as a way of organizing work. This study explores the relationship between surrounding structure and human interactions in global project teams and follows a qualitative approach. The empirical material is collected from two global project teams within the Multinational Corporation1 Capgemini. A total of eleven interviews were conducted. This study conducts a qualitative analysis using an abbreviated version of Grounded Theory. This project shows that the structural assets of the global interactional arena could provide sources of both availability and distance due to geographical and cultural factors. The findings suggest that the development of mental connections meeting the global context were supported by early definition of expectations, rich initial communication, mutual adjustment through cultural competence, and face-to-face contact points. A second important human connection between project team members was found to in the form of personal relationships, which are easiest to build through meeting in a face-to-face arena. Having built a personal relationship was related to a higher effectiveness of communication and a safer and open team environment. Seen in light of theoretical work in the field of project organizing, teamwork, relationships and communication, this study suggests that human connections in the form of mental connections and personal relationships would enhance effectiveness in global project team interaction. Creating mental closeness in a dispersed structure, these connections would then support important processes of adjusting the team’s effort and help the process of securing team connections throughout a project execution phase.