The Cross-Cultural Knowledge Sharing Challenge: An Investigation of the Co-location Strategy in Software Development Offshoring

Abstract : Cross-cultural offshoring in software development challenges effective knowledge sharing. While research has suggested temporarily co-locating participants to address this challenge, few studies are available on what knowledge sharing practices emerge over time when co-locating cross-cultural software developers. This paper presents a longitudinal case study of an offshoring project with co-location of Indian and Danish software developers for 10½ months. A community-of-practice (CoP) analysis is offered of what knowledge sharing practices emerge over time and how these where facilitated. The study supports previous studies’ suggestion of co-location in offshoring for helping cross-cultural knowledge sharing. However, the short initial period of co-location suggested in these studies, was insufficient for achieving knowledge sharing practices indicating a CoP. In conjunction with a longer period of co-location four facilitators of cross-cultural knowledge sharing were shared office, shared responsibility for tasks and problems, shared prioritization of team spirit, and a champion of social integration.
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John Persson. The Cross-Cultural Knowledge Sharing Challenge: An Investigation of the Co-location Strategy in Software Development Offshoring. InternationalWorking Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT (TDIT), Jun 2013, Bangalore, India. pp.310-325, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-38862-0_19⟩. ⟨hal-01467786⟩

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