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An empirical investigation of the role of e-communication in international collaborations

Zhang, Ying (2016) An empirical investigation of the role of e-communication in international collaborations. In: Handbook of Research on Global Supply Chain Management. Business Science Reference, Hershey, PA., pp. 85-104. ISBN 9781466696396

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This chapter addresses the role of e-communication in international collaborations by examining its usage, cultural implications, and impact on trust building. Theoretically, this study is informed by social constructionism (Gergen, 1999; Goffman, 1959). Empirical insights were generated from the qualitative case study of WinCo which was an international collaboration between a UK-based wine and spirits multinational company and their distributors. The findings suggest that different e-communication channels are often used by collaborating partners to enhance the breadth and depth of their communication. New participants tend to enhance the skills of e-communication usage through self-learning, formal educational programs, and support from the company's employee development team. The widespread usage of e-communication impacts on partners' trust building in terms of their mutual perceptions of one another's competence and social bonding. National culture also affects partners' use of e-communication in international collaborative practice.