Knowledge coordination via digital artefacts in highly dispersed teams

Yulin Fang, Derrick Neufeld, Xiaojie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
512 Downloads (Pure)


Virtual teams face the unique challenge of coordinating their knowledge work across time, space, and people. Information technologies, and digital artefacts in particular, are essential to supporting coordination in highly dispersed teams, yet the extant literature is limited in explaining how such teams produce and reproduce digital artefacts for coordination. This paper describes a qualitative case study that examined the day-to-day practices of two highly dispersed virtual teams, with the initial conceptual lens informed by Carlile's (2004) knowledge management framework. Our observations suggest that knowledge coordination in these highly dispersed virtual teams involves the continuous production and reproduction of digital artefacts (which we refer to as technology practices) through three paired modes: ‘presenting-accessing’ (related to knowledge transfer); ‘representing-adding’ (related to knowledge translation); and ‘moulding-challenging’ (related to knowledge transformation). We also observed an unexpected fourth pair of technology practices, ‘withholding-ignoring,’ that had the effect of delaying certain knowledge coordination processes. Our findings contribute to both the knowledge coordination literature and the practical use of digital artefacts in virtual teams. Future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Systems Journal
Early online date13 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 13 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research Grants Council, University Grants Committee, Grant/Award Number: 11507419; City University of Hong Kong, Grant/Award Number: 9680052; Shandong Office of Philosophy and Social Science, Grant/Award Number: 21DGLJ25; Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, Grant/Award Number: R3018A09 Funding information

Funding Information:
This project is funded by the General Research Fund (11507419) from the University Grant Council of Hong Kong, Research Fund (9680052) from City University of Hong Kong, Ivey Research Fund (R3018A09) from Ivey Business School at University of Western Ontario, and Shandong Philosophy and Social Science Planning Fund (21DGLJ25).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • boundary objects
  • digital artefacts
  • knowledge coordination
  • knowledge management
  • qualitative study
  • virtual teams


Dive into the research topics of 'Knowledge coordination via digital artefacts in highly dispersed teams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this