Oct 17, 2011

Distance (still) matters! a)

Follow up on the related myth that «distance is dead», in a paper by Petra Sonderegger (2009) in R&D working context across disperse teams in project work. Creating Shared Understanding in Research Across Distance: Distance Collaboratiion across Cultures in R&D. In e-Research: Transformation in Scholarly Practice:
"In summary, shared understanding and the flow of tacit knowledge are key elements of innovative collaboration; and trust, shared context, and frequent interactions (both formal and informal) are central to establishing these elements. Despite proclamations of the “death of distance” (Cairncross, 1997), physical presence and shared space are still important in today’s world, especially for people who are highly interdependent and faced with ambiguous situations. This study was designed to explore the potential and the limitations of distance collaboration in R&D, given the communication tools available. (...) For the researchers in this study, in-person meetings led to a higher level of comfort in collaboration. They trusted their counterparts more and moved the relationship from a purely professional level to a more personal level; they made fewer negative attributions in situations of uncertainty. An increase in spontaneity and a decrease in formality helped overcome some difficulties in distance communication."
a) Note to self: see another post with same title, and follow tag «distance».