University of Oulu

Lohikoski, P., Kujala, J., Haapasalo, H., Härkönen, J., Ala-Mursula, L. (2015) Managing barriers of virtual communication in global new product development projects. International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 15 (4), 277. doi:10.1504/IJNVO.2015.073848

Managing barriers of virtual communication in global new product development projects

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Author: Lohikoski, Päivi1; Kujala, Jaakko1; Haapasalo, Harri1;
Organizations: 1Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu P.O. Box 4610, FIN-90014, Finland
2Institute of Health Sciences, PL 5000, 90014 Oulun Yliopisto, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Inderscience, 2015
Publish Date: 2019-12-09


In virtual operating environments for new product development (NPD) increase the need to manage communication efficiently. The goal of communication is to reach a shared understanding; however, this is often challenging due to barriers that harm the communication process. Communication barriers typically cause misunderstandings and conflicts and hinder access to relevant information, causing delays in projects and some even fail in reaching their strategic or operational objectives. In addition to identifying the barriers, the main aim of the study was to discover ways of overcoming these barriers. We conducted a multi-method case study in a global telecommunications company. The theoretical base was built on virtual team literature and the theory of communication in virtual NPD teams′ context. The key finding of this study is that main barriers to communication are egocentrism, information-sharing behaviour, inadequate language skills, mistrust, communication distortions and miscommunication. In addition, we identify specific managerial implications for organising communications in virtual projects.

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Series: International journal of networking and virtual organisations
ISSN: 1470-9503
ISSN-E: 1741-5225
ISSN-L: 1470-9503
Volume: 15
Issue: 4
Pages: 277 - 298
DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2015.073848
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Copyright information: © 2015 Inderscience Publishers. The final authenticated version is available online at: