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Shield: Product Development in a Distributed Team

Published 06 Jul 2005
Reference 5285
Region Global
Length 9 page(s)
Prizes & Awards

2017 The Case Centre Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour

Winner of 2008 European Case Awards, Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour Category

2007 ecch Best-selling Case in Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour


The case is built on a unique and extensive dataset collected during many months of direct observation and interviews. The depth of this dataset allows the reader to analyze the myriad of perceptual factors on which collaboration and teamwork hinge

Teaching objectives

The case releates the coordination challenges in a team of software developers comprised of two groups: one located on West Coast of the US and the other in Bangalore India. The case focuses on two related types of problems prevalent in virtual teams (communication related and status related), and shows how these two types of problems feed on each other such as to create a spiral of disengagement among distant collaborators. The case is destined to have users 1) identify these various sets of problems; and 2) discover ways to address them.

  • Virtual teams
  • Outsourcing
  • Inter-group relations
  • Status competition
  • Organisational structure
  • Cross-cultural management
  • Product development