connexions • international professional communication journal
Today, information and communication technologies (ICTs) allow individuals located in different nations to collaborate almost as easily as if they were located in the same physical office. As a result, globally distributed virtual teams now support the work of organizations across the spectrum of products and services. Such teams are used by a range of for-profit and non-profit organizations including businesses, government organizations, the military, and educational institutions. These organizations are increasingly employing individuals located in different nations to engage in various types of collaborative work via ICTs.
As a result of such factors, much of the modern workforce is now migrating toward a virtual model of work, and forces associated with globalization are changing the nature of competitiveness in the new economy. Individuals, in turn, must often adapt rapidly to virtual environments and do so with little or no formal preparation in the types of professional communication practices essential to success in such contexts. As a result, individuals working in internationally distributed teams must generally learn from their mistakes, an effective but often costly approach. Moreover, individuals must also often adapt to working in an environment in which they are regularly paired with new colleagues and clients from different nations, cultures, and language groups.
Thus, the modern distributed workplace requires employees to account for and address three central factors—technology, culture, and language—in order to succeed in most work-related tasks.
An all-important question arising from this situation is, “How can we better prepare these individuals for this international, online context?”
A 2012 IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication special issue on global training reveals, however, that very little information on training—particularly global virtual communication training—has been published in the major professional communication journals in the last ten years. Such a gap needs to be closed if educators and trainers alike wish to prepare adult learners to be successful participants in current (and future) business practices and processes.
This special issue on education and training for globally distributed virtual teams seeks to address this topic through articles on how best to prepare individuals to succeed in this new workplace.
In particular, the editors are interested in articles that answer questions such as:
*What types of education and training are most desired by managers and participants of global virtual teams?
*How can organizations best prepare virtual team members for working across boundaries of language? What issues affect translation and terminology? What do team members most need to know about World Englishes, English as a Second Language, or English for Specific Purposes?
*How can organizations better prepare employees to collaborate and cooperate online and across cultural boundaries?
*How can social media be used to prepare individuals for working in intercultural online contexts?
*What legal issues can affect or should be included in global virtual team training? What should participants in global virtual teams know about proprietary information and privacy?
In addition, the editors of this special issue welcome articles such as:
*Critical analyses of the many published task/technology models that support global virtual teams.
*Critical analyses of virtual team studies in areas such as technical training, adult education, human resources development, educational technology, human performance technology, technical communication, and user experience design.
The guest editors are also interested in discussing other prospective topics with potential contributors.
Types of articles
connexions publishes four types of articles:
*Original research articles of 5,000 to 7,000 words in length
*Review articles of 3,000 to 5,000 words in length
*Focused commentary and industry perspectives articles of 500 to 3,000 words in length
*Teaching cases of 3,000 to 5,000 words in length
Interested individuals should send a 150-200 word proposal to
Proposals should be sent as a .docx, .doc, or .rtf file attached to an email message with the subject line:
“Proposal for Special Issue on Globally Distributed Virtual Teams.”
All proposals should include the submitter’s name, affiliation, and email address as well as a working title for the proposed article.
The schedule for the special issue is as follows:
15 Jan. 2014 –Proposals due
15 Feb. 2014 – Decisions on proposals sent to proposal submitters
15 June 2014 – Manuscripts due
15 Aug. 2014 – Reviewer comments to authors
15 Oct. 2014 – Final manuscripts due to editors
Dec. 2014 – Publication of special issue
Completed proposals or questions about either proposal topics or this special issue should be sent to Pam Estes Brewer and Kirk St. Amant at connexionsspecialissue AT gmail.com