ICTs and Global Working in a Non-Flat World

  • Geoff Walsham
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-09768-8_2

Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 267)
Cite this paper as:
Walsham G. (2008) ICTs and Global Working in a Non-Flat World. In: Barrett M., Davidson E., Middleton C., DeGross J.I. (eds) Information Technology in the Service Economy: Challenges and Possibilities for the 21st Century. IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing, vol 267. Springer, Boston, MA


This paper rejects the hypothesis of Thomas Friedman that ICT-enabled globalization is driving us toward a flat world. Instead, it is argued that the world remains uneven, full of seams, culturally heterogeneous, locally specific, inequitable, not well-integrated and constantly changing. This argument is supported by an analysis of three areas of ICT-enabled global working, namely global software outsourcing, global IS roll-out, and global virtual teams. The paper then builds on these analyses to put forward an agenda for future IS research on ICTs and global working based on three research themes: identity and cross-cultural working; globalization, localization and standardization; and power, knowledge, and control. The paper concludes that the area of ICTs and global working offers the IS field a major research opportunity to make a significant contribution to our understanding of a set of crucial issues in our more globalized world.


Flat world globalization global software outsourcing global IS roll-out global virtual teams IS research agenda identity cross-cultural working standardization power knowledge control 
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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoff Walsham
    • 1
  1. 1.Judge Business SchoolUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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