This paper seeks to present the challenges reported by project leaders of cross‐cultural geographically distributed, or virtual project teams operating within the matrix organisation of ABC, a multinational company based in Switzerland.
The research is qualitative and exploratory, taking the form of inductive thematic analysis.
The key themes reported to be of significance were the challenge of leadership, managing virtual aspects of communication and developing trust. Sub‐themes consisted of managing the task, managing people, managing language and cultural issues and, lastly, managing the matrix.
These include attention to the selection of leaders, continued facilitation of face‐to‐face communication in a virtual age and investment in language and intercultural training.
Future research might investigate the complementary perspective of line management and take up the theme of high fluctuation of team members and leaders.
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