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Towards a comprehensive conceptual framework for multicultural virtual teams: a multilevel perspective exploring the relationship between multiculturalism and performance

Rachel Xenia Chang (Fundação Instituto de Administração, São Paulo, Brazil)
Marly Monteiro Carvalho (Production Engineering Department, Escola Politécnica, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Roberto Sbragia (Department of Administration, Faculdade de Economia Administração e Contabilidade, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

65

Abstract

Purpose

Performance in virtual teams, which faces cultural and demographic differences, is a relevant phenomenon that has been widely investigated in recent decades, but with opportunities in exploring other levels of analysis as individual and project. This current research aims to understand how multicultural virtual teams affect individual, team and project performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) and bibliometric analysis to capture 273 papers from the Web of Science (WoS) database using a snowball approach. In a second approach, the authors selected 130 papers to conduct a content analysis.

Findings

The authors presented a longitudinal overview regarding the adoption of virtual teams in project management (PM) literature. A conceptual framework was proposed to explore the relationship between multicultural virtual teams and performance with three levels of analysis: individual, teams and project. The authors contributed with research hypotheses to be explored in future empirical studies not only at the team perspective but also at the project and individual levels. The thematic analysis suggested that the literature focus has shifted from hard to soft aspects faced by virtual teams. Social identity/categorization theory was the most prominent theory in this body, but it is not fully explored in PM literature. Other opportunities of future studies are to understand the impact of cultural diversity, the sense of belongingness, the project life cycle and the development of a knowledge management program.

Originality/value

The authors developed a 3-level conceptual framework for future empirical studies and demonstrated that cultural differences are mainly approached at the national level in the literature, bringing suggestions for future empirical research.

Keywords

Citation

Chang, R.X., Carvalho, M.M. and Sbragia, R. (2022), "Towards a comprehensive conceptual framework for multicultural virtual teams: a multilevel perspective exploring the relationship between multiculturalism and performance", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-09-2021-0252

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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