Journal article Open Access

How HRM and knowledge sharing technologies foster virtual team productivity for globally dispersed workforces: A systematic review

Shah-Nelson, Clark

ABSTRACT

Purpose – Virtual Team (VT) productivity is affected by multiple factors, including knowledge sharing, communication and collaboration due to geographical or temporal dispersion. This review spans multiple VT contexts globally to determine the practices that contribute to productive VTs. The authors fill a research gap by exploring how, across cultures and contexts, VTs overcome temporal and geographical dispersion barriers to share knowledge and foster productivity.

Aim – To reveal and understand critical factors that enhance virtual team productivity across multiple sectors and geographical boundaries.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted a systematic review of twenty-one articles, which resulted from a comprehensive database search and quality screening of the best available evidence. Inductive thematic coding was used to conduct a mixed-method synthesis of findings across these studies.

Findings – Proper implementation of HRM practices combined with the utilization of technology tools that best fit tasks based on temporal and geographical needs can help organizations overcome dispersion issues among virtual teams.
Limitations of the study – Due to limitations of available evidence, this systematic review could not address all possible contexts. As a result, applying these findings across the broadest range of geographic areas and industry sectors should be exercised cautiously. Additionally, a small number of included articles were conceptual papers of relatively lower academic rigor.

Practical implications –This study highlights the importance of implementing HRM policies related to hiring, induction, training, and on-going appraisal practices to encourage knowledge sharing and build trust and socialization among teams.
Originality/value – By synthesizing evidence across various sectors and geographic boundaries, this paper provides rigorously supported recommendations for increasing VT productivity.

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