Collaborating as a growing hybrid team : An exploratory case study of an expanding R&D team navigating a hybrid work setting
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- Master Thesis 
Hybrid work settings and hybrid teams are increasingly common and already a reality in many modern professional environments. The adoption of constant, professional hybrid teams has outpaced the knowledge on such teams which are more complex than purely virtual teams, more long-lived than project teams, and more professional than student groups. In addition, team member growth in hybrid teams is understudied. Taking departure in a horizontal psychological contract perspective, this project aimed to identify the challenges an expanding hybrid team faces and to research how such a team can collaborate effectively. 12 core members of an expanding R&D team operating in a hybrid setting were interviewed. Mapping the challenges faced by the growing hybrid team in collaborating effectively, a broad range of crucial elements are recognized and discussed. Essentially, team member growth and hybrid collaboration complicate building a strong psychological team contract. The study finds a perceived difficulty in building relations through virtual communication. It indicates the superiority of face-to-face interactions prevails when aiming to develop the psychological contract. This is found to spill over into making knowledge transfer and the integration of new members more challenging in a hybrid team. To increase team size successfully the integration of new team members must be a priority. Further, all team members should understand the bigger picture, it must be focused on a productive meeting culture, and appropriate tools for internal communication and knowledge sharing must be used. Additionally, an office environment made for hybrid collaboration has to be created. The results are important findings constituting recommendations for practitioners. The study adds to the literature on modern hybrid teams, to research on team member growth, and to the body of research addressing the horizontal psychological contract.