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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Gerda Mihhailova, Kandela Õun and Kulno Türk

Virtual work presents new challenges for managers compared to using ordinary, face‐to‐face work practices. The purpose of this paper is to show how different virtual work…

Abstract

Purpose

Virtual work presents new challenges for managers compared to using ordinary, face‐to‐face work practices. The purpose of this paper is to show how different virtual work types are related to different challenges that require different managerial and co‐operation approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data were gathered during a period of two years using a questionnaire (3,156 respondents from 323 companies representing different Estonian service sector branches) and interviewing.

Findings

The paper concludes that a higher level of work virtuality leads to a lower level of work satisfaction, mainly due to inappropriate management techniques and problems related to information and communication technology‐mediated communication.

Research limitations/implications

The sample consists of only service sector organizations, limiting generalization of the results to the practice of manufacturing companies.

Practical implications

The results will help managers of service organizations to prepare and choose appropriate management techniques for working with virtual workforce.

Originality/value

The paper shows that service sector organizations operate with different degrees of virtuality that lead to different challenges and consequently require different management techniques.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2009

Gerda Mihhailova

Literature on virtual and other new ways of work is diverse and confusing, indicating a need for a framework to structure and systematize the related terminology. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Literature on virtual and other new ways of work is diverse and confusing, indicating a need for a framework to structure and systematize the related terminology. The purpose of this empirical study is to address the lack of empirical research on how well (and if at all) characteristics of employees' national and occupational culture determine the management challenges and employees' satisfaction with virtual work arrangements.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data was gathered using case study research. An Estonian and a Russian company operating in the service sector suited best as they had a diverse multinational workforce and several years of virtual work experience.

Findings

The paper concludes that occupational culture determines much better than national culture the employees' attitudes towards and satisfaction with virtual work arrangements.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation arose from the lack of national culture research in East European countries: for many of these nations, national culture dimensions/characteristics (e.g. like offered by Hofstede) are still unknown.

Practical implications

The results help service organizations' managers to prepare a multinational workforce better for virtual work, knowing ahead the potential challenges and thus train the employees based on their occupational culture background.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to theory by offering a framework which enables to systematize the diverse range of terminology used for new, flexible ways of work. The case studies reveal a huge gap waiting to be filled with research on national culture characteristics of East European countries.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Gerda Mihhailova

Use of e‐learning opens up a whole new range of business expansion and internationalization opportunities for many companies including higher education institutions. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Use of e‐learning opens up a whole new range of business expansion and internationalization opportunities for many companies including higher education institutions. The paper seeks to explore the challenges a business college may encounter using e‐learning as internationalization strategy. E‐learning‐related problems are analyzed from two main internal interest groups' point of view – lecturers and students. The aim of the case study presented in the paper is to find out what are the major challenges from a student and academic personnel perspective using e‐learning. This kind of analyses should be the first step introducing e‐learning as a strategic tool for business expansion.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires, in‐depth interviewing and semi‐structured group interviews were used to find answers to the posed research questions. Research took place in two phases. In phase one, two types of questionnaires were distributed – Type A to lecturers (ten respondents) and Type B to students (115 respondents), Both types were constructed by the author. In phase two, two in‐depth interviews and two semi‐structured group interviews were conducted (ten students in one group of interview, eight lecturers in the second group of interview).

Findings

The main problem areas for lecturers related to e‐learning are: lack of time, lack of interest/motivation, lack of co‐operation, compensation system does not take into account the specifics of e‐learning and lecturers are concerned about the quality of teaching in a virtual environment. The most problematic of them appear to be lack of time and inappropriate compensation system. Students appear to have interest in e‐courses, but the level of knowledge regarding specifics of web‐based learning as well as about e‐courses offered was unexpectedly low. This is an especially problematic case as open university students were the main target group for whom the e‐courses were designed in the first place.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on one case study and thus the conclusions made may not exactly reflect the situation in all universities of Estonia. But due to the shared economic, cultural and historical background, at least to some extent the case study reflects the main problem areas of all Estonian universities using e‐learning.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper stems from an interdisciplinary approach to e‐learning – use of e‐learning as a tool for internationalization. The paper presents results of a case study research, conducted in an East‐European business college and the results of the study are discussed in respect of historical, social and economic specifics of Estonia.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Maaja Vadi, Rebekka Vedina and Kadri Karma

Abstract

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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