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26-29 May 2015
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Contribution Research-in-Progress Paper (WITHDRAWN)

16 - Methods, Tools and Human Factors in IS/IT Management

The Broken Chain in Cross-Cultural Software Development: Communication, Media Choice, and Appropriation


Primary authors



As globalization increases, globally distributed projects have become more common and while organizations achieve a number of advantages in utilizing offshore labor, conducting such projects is not without risk as project failures are common. It has been identified that a majority of project failures are caused by a failure in communication. We investigate the cross-cultural communication process and how factors such as culture and media are impacting it through the lens of Media Synchronicity Theory. We assess particularly the significance of media capabilities in the choice and appropriation of a medium and the role they have to enable (or suppress) particular communication purposes. We integrate our findings into literature on culture and communication and utilize Hall’s cultural dimensions to derive and test propositions on how culture affects communication through media choice and appropriation. Following Eisenhardt’s approach, we are building theory from case data assuming an inductive approach with the aim of detecting existing relationships between culture, media synchronicity, and communication performance. To achieve that, we develop a communication action chain to help deconstruct a number of communication episodes into separate links and examine the role of expectational differences as source of the communication failure.