During the last decade, teams working on information technology (IT) development and implementation projects have experienced significant transformations. Nowadays, many members of project teams are working in new and complex organisational arrangements seeded with conflicts. Their firms, pushed by the competitive race and/or regulators, want to implement new IT solutions at frantic speeds while often maintaining old management practices without recognising the new paradigm’s unique needs and nature. This paper focuses in one of these new organisations, the metateam. Metateams are emergent temporal virtual organizations engaged in complex multimillion dollar IT projects. These confederations of networked teams can build IT solutions of high complexity by integrating and capitalizing on expertise from different fields across firms and national borders. However, achieving effective interteam collaboration presents significant challenges. The failure to make sense of the new paradigm results in cost and schedule overruns and has high destructive potential for interfirm relationships. Our theory-building study detected a costly pattern of constant conflict discovery, resolution and realignment. From the analysis of this pattern, this paper presents a theoretical model, grounded on rich empirical data, interrelating key concepts of cost, contract discrepancies, conflict, communication and trust.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/walter_fernandez/10/