Creating Shared Understanding across Distance: Distance Collaboration across Cultures In R&D
As globalization and the impact of worldwide communications networks expand, scholars are increasingly debating the role of physical place in the world. Predictions have ranged from utopian (the ‘death of distance,’ ‘anytime, anyplace communications’) to dystopian (rampant global capitalism and the disintegration of societies and traditions). This chapter discusses the role of shared space in innovation, specifi cally in corporate research and development (R&D). In particular, it explores the role of intangible factors, such as tacit knowledge, shared language, trust and conventions for researchers who are separated by large distances and several time zones as they collaborate on projects.