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Knowledge sharing barriers in global teams

Marcelo Wendling (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre – RS, Brazil)
Mírian Oliveira (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre – RS, Brazil)
Antonio Carlos Gastaud Maçada (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre – RS, Brazil)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 9 August 2013




The creation of offshore units allows companies to invest in countries that offer tax incentives, and provides global presence. Nevertheless, knowledge sharing in global teams may be challenger. The aim of this paper is to analyze the barriers of knowledge sharing in global teams.


This is a qualitative research based on interviews in two firms.


The interviewees confirmed the relevance of the barriers to knowledge sharing identified in the literature. The interviewees also cited other four barriers: technology, professional skills, cost and methodology of software development. Other results were: the relationship between the barriers, for example, cultural differences are negatively related to absorptive capacity; and, the barriers could also be enablers for knowledge sharing.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations identified were: the use the interview as the only form of data collection, since the firms did not authorize the collection of documents; the interviews were conducted in two ways, in person for those residing in the same city as the researchers and via Skype® for those who were in another city; the findings are based on two case studies of two different firms and are not generalizable.


This research offers a new perspective and a better understanding of the interaction and relationships among knowledge sharing barriers. The results of this research may be useful for academics and organizations because they deepen the discussion on knowledge sharing in global teams, and also show the reality of two organizations in the technology sector in relation to this subject.



Wendling, M., Oliveira, M. and Carlos Gastaud Maçada, A. (2013), "Knowledge sharing barriers in global teams", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 239-253.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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