Interesting study and comments
Doing global (and local) development since 70's, sometimes managing, sometimes designing, sometimes just coding or testing so I have seen X number different projects (and results!) There is also a difference between internal and external projects, and also if you are a provider overseeing (helping) a customer or another provider project - many flavors.
The study really hints what I have always thought and why I'm big fan of social networking and collaboration. And agile - long time before marketing came with that word.
The differences today are really all the tools and toys available. Used correctly they can be very useful but often misused and causing some problems. Earlier using for example phone and transferring massive amounts of documents, code, etc were very error prone, slow, and so on. Today there is no need for that, distributed systems take care of that. For design, negotiation, checks, etc just fire the video conference and whiteboards up in computer - almost as good as sitting in same room. I can do that 24h from home, helps a lot in global environment.
Now, some things haven't changed - the management of a project is still and probably will always be a lot of manual work! It just needs personal touch today as much as ever. Worst projects I have had are when some group on other side of globe are given very detailed definitions and too much autonomy. No contract,SLA, project plan, etc ever is perfect but some cultures see them that way and execute them to the letter but nothing else. Time to fly there and when one way is 16-26h it definitely isn't fun but if the other option is to negotiate over phone, take two-three weeks (or sometimes months!) to even start something then the flying over and managing it in place seems a good solution. And no - Six Sigma or whatever disciplines are good and needed but can't replace common sense!
So, technically distributed projects are not bad but the logistics! Even locally distributed projects can keep you busy, separate buildings, campuses, whatever combined with todays "management model" where we build the railroad from east, the other organization from west and some day we will meet - but half a mail apart!