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Minitrack: Emerging Issues in Distributed Group Decision-Making: Opportunities and Challenges

Emerging issues like cloud computing, crowd--sourcing, e-health and m-commerce are giving new meaning to distributed decision-making. Coordination among competitors is becoming common. Gartner group predicts that Swarm teams will become the norm in the future. Given the current turbulent state of the world economy, outsourcing is becoming a norm creating temporary or Swarm teams. Companies are no longer providing long-term contracts but are renewing them based on deliverables from outsourced companies. This is putting tremendous pressure on teams to deliver quality product on time at a reasonable cost. Team adaptability and team configuration are becoming crucial to meeting deadlines. Teams must be able to adapt quickly to the changing environment be it face-to-face, mobile or in the cloud. Agile teams adapt and deliver quickly and provide maximum customer satisfaction. By definition, however, agile teams must be co-located. Can distributed teams be agile and adaptable? This requires careful team configuration. Therefore, this minitrack examines the emerging issues related to team configuration and performance in a distributed environment. Some research related to outsourcing of structured tasks has been done, but research related to emerging issues like diversity, cohesiveness, agility and adaptability related to group collaboration across semi- or un-structured tasks is still emerging. In addition, cloud computing is making it feasible to provide computing services at a reasonable cost. As cloud computing diffuses, decision making either individually or in a group using resources on the clouds is not far behind. Cloud computing will provide tremendous opportunities to distributed groups to make any time any place decisions at a reasonable cost. In addition, the e (Internet) to m (mobile) to c (cloud) transformation is creating exciting opportunities for groups to make real time decisions in a mobile, and possibly in the cloud environment. Distributed teams, however, face many challenges of time, location, infrastructure, language, customs, socialization and politics. This is further compounded in globally distributed teams by diversity, nationality and cultural issues. As old issues are resolved, new challenges emerge that require knowledge from multiple disciplines such as information systems, social sciences, international management, leadership and political science. It is almost impossible for one individual to have expertise in so many domains, which makes this a very challenging but ultimately rewarding collaborative area of research. Given the richness and research potential of this area, it is essential to brainstorm and bring diverse points of view to develop underlying theory and frameworks. The minitrack will attempt to accomplish these objectives. This minitrack will address emerging issue such as diversity, culture, adaptability and agility related to teams in distributed group decision making, as well as the underlying theories of

group dynamics, coordination, communications and decision-making in distributed environments, in creation of competitive advantage. Since team configuration and performance includes many different areas, we expect contributions from researchers beyond information system discipline. Examples of topics in the discussion of globally distributed decision-making during this minitrack will include the following (but are not limited to): Collaboration through crowd-sourcing Tsunami disaster planning through collaboration Collaboration in the cloud. E-gov collaboration. Public-private collaboration Delivering health services through collaboration Economics of distributed decision making in the clouds Trust and distrust as motivator in distributed decision making Can agile teams be globally distributed? Agile/Adaptable team configuration in globally distributed teams The e (internet) to m (mobile) transformation of globally distributed teams Communication and coordination in globally distributed teams Diversity issues in globally distributed teams Customer satisfaction, performance and trust building in globally distributed teams Synchronous and asynchronous decision making in globally distributed teams Comparison of issues across internal, inter-, intra and offshore distributed teams Turbulent economy and its impact on outsourcing Models of globally distributed agile/adaptable teams Knowledge creation, transfer and integration across globally distributed teams Leadership/cohesiveness issues in globally distributed teams Issues related to functional and dysfunctional globally distributed teams Security, privacy and risk associated with globally distributed teams Case Studies (success/failures) related to decision making by globally distributed teams

Minitrack Leaders A. K. Aggarwal (primary contact) University of Baltimore 1420 N. Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21202 Tel: (410) 837-5275 Email: aaggarwal@ubalt.edu Doug Vogel City University of Hong Kong Email: isdoug@cityu.edu.hk Yuko Murayama Iwate Prefectural University Email: murayama@iwate-pu-ac.jp


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