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Project objective

Discuss about the Challenges managing global teams.

The inception of globalization has started changing almost all the business concerns. The challenges of globalization are seen by reshaping the organizational functioning from the traditional way. To cope up with the increase in global business environment, organizations are bringing team members of other countries or building teams which can cross international borders to build a working relationship among the people of different race and ethnicity (Babar and Lescher 2014).  

The objective of the project is to design teams to from a wide range of cultural diversity to increase operational efficiency and create effective processes. Employees from different culture, caste, creed and race will need to work in collaboration in a local workplace, an MNC or any international organization.

The project scope will include overcoming the challenges faced by the managers and other members who are involved in the working of international organizations. They come across challenges like how to use the skill of an individual member along with minimizing the loss in coordination due to miscommunication, language, difference in working style and other misunderstandings.


Globalization on one hand has increased the job prospect for an individual as well as implanted various hurdles in their work role. One of them is, being able to work in cross- cultural environment. The challenges faced in managing international teams is to identify the hidden causes which gives rise to cultural conflict and interfere to deal with the hurdle for bringing the employees back to a proper working environment and how such hurdles in the future can be overcome.  Global teams are made to make use of the global diversity effectively and increase the efficiency of the organization in that way (Boutellier, Gassmann and Von Zedtwitz 2013).


A global team refers to a group of workers or employees of two or more nations, who are brought under one roof to manage, develop and coordinate the operations of an international firm or company. Culture persists among the individuals of similar gender, nationality, doing same function in the same organization. The members of so much in common also share similar views, which they want to implicate and explain according to the situation, events and managerial practices in the same way. On the contrary, individuals of various culture and background will have a different way to react and respond to a certain situation or approach. Study on the composition of teams described that a team consisting of people of same background are more satisfied and have affirmative reaction but a team of different cultured people can exhibit team creativity and broader solution to the problem. It is seen that the multicultural teams are better in finding solution to a problem rather than the teams which consist of people of the same culture. Heterogeneous teams are capable of providing opportunity to mix freely in a business, cultural or social perspective into prime decisions which have an impact on the success of international business (Colomo-Palacios et al. 2014).

Project scope

Benefits of global teams

Variety in culture, on one hand can improve the performance of the organization and if not utilized properly, can be responsible for decreasing the performance too. There are different advantages of working in a cross- cultural group:

Globalization has become responsible for finding new opportunities everyday in any part of the world. These are beneficial because the global needs of the customers can be met in this way. Cross cultural teams can help the organization to build good relationship with the foreign customers. MNCs sometimes create international research and development teams to get the benefit of a specific place which is not available in another place but has spread all over the globe.  There are companies which create special teams to look after a specific area like marketing or sales. They have representatives of that specific field in other foreign countries who work in association with each other. This is helpful in creating a cultural diversity and intermingling of goods and services that can meet up with the expectation of an international client wherever might be the location (Dingsoyr and Smite 2014). International teams present the organization with different kind of viewpoints. As the members of the global team belong to different cultural background therefore such multicultural individuals also present their own viewpoint. A global range of individuals are supposed to have a broader knowledge, more expertise and scope than people of the same cultural group. A heterogeneous group also performs better than a homogenous group because they are enriched with various perspectives and so they can be exposed to new process of problem- handling situations. From the perspective of a manager, when a global team is working together they might come up with the understanding of their own culture and background. But diversity when combined with experience results in a better control over the employees. The organizations which are in competition in the international market should have a global introduction with the new products, processes and service at a rapid rate. Because of the trending knowledge economies many organizations are compelled to have a global access on the dispersal of technological and market knowledge so that the competitive advantage can be maintained by the development of a team consisting of experts from other culture (Cramton and Hinds 2014).


Homogeneous group

Heterogeneous group

They work from a single aspect

They work from multiple aspects

Same work environment and location

Multiple location with multiple culture

Native speakers of a language

Both native and non- native speakers

Communication skills and professional expertise

Communication skills and professional expertise along with mixed culture competence and adaptability

Work is limited to the organization and known boundaries

Work involves going across the international boundaries

Possibilities of informal interaction and information sharing is frequent

Possibilities of informal interaction are not frequent and information is shared over technological medium

Work is done in the same time zone

Work is done in different time zones (Dulebohn and Hoch 2017).

Reasons of failure for global teams

The homogeneous and heterogeneous groups are almost faced by the same challenges. The problems include not meeting up with the goals of an individual team member, lack of the required skills and knowledge and not confident about the objective of the team. Global teams face different kind of challenge resulting from the variety in location; culture and language (refer to appendix 1). The efficiency of teams is disturbed when they are incapable of building trust among the individual members or when the communication barrier comes in between. There are several challenges in managing global teams. Trust is a critical issue in the path of success of the global teams to bring about cognition in the group. If it is maintained effectively there will be significant outcome which will result in the production of a collective intelligence better than any individual. If there is no mutual trust, then the individual team members will not be able to disclose the actual benefits. Deficiency of trust might turn the global diversity of a team into responsibility rather than being an asset. The trust issues are very common in the operation of global teams. There are three factors that determine the trustworthiness of people- quality of communication, characteristics of an individual and a wider institutional context. Different geographical location, culture and language are responsible for raising a barrier in communication. It is not feasible to arrange meeting for the team in different geographical location with different time zones and different work schedule. Although technology can be used for arrangement of such meetings but technological medium can be used as an additional option but not as a substitute. Face- to- face formal meetings strengthen trust and familiarity which is unlike in a meeting over any technological medium. If the body language and the reaction of the other members in a meeting are not visible it will hamper the effectiveness of the meeting. Language is a very crucial factor because if it is not understood what a person is trying to say then it is a threat to global business. If the language problem is not resolved then the scope of sharing different viewpoints will be less. The individuals of a global team come from a diverse culture and background which takes into account different norms, values, behavioral pattern and assumptions for decision making (refer to appendix 2). The national culture greatly affects people’s behavior and values. Power distance signifies the in-built belief of people about the justification small or big difference in power among the group members. There is a tendency to implement equal rights and minimize the inequality among people so that those who are in the subordinate position can access the people in superior position easily in low power (Galliers and Leidner 2014). In high power, the authority calls for privileges and hence power is seen as the basic factor. Avoidance of uncertainty is seen as extent to which people are free in uncertainty at the workplace. The situations in low uncertainty includes less emphasizing on the rules, trusting the young generation, rare expression of emotions and tolerance of deviation. Whereas in high uncertainty situation, the experts are given value, importance of hard work, and there is an urgency of harmony. Individualism or collectivism is the dimension to extend the needs and wants of the individuals to get the importance and priority in comparison to others. Freedom, achievement and privacy of an individual are given value. Long term and short term orientation is concerned about the duration of orientation towards a change or tradition. Individuals with long term objective believe in hard work, their dedication towards a cause, personal sacrifice for future benefit and personal thrift. Sacrifice is given stress so that the next generation can develop. People with short term orientation believe in stability and personal steadiness. These people do not think about the future but the present (Gibbs and Boyraz 2015).

Literature review

Developing global team

Four significant techniques are there that aids in supporting environment for the cross cultural teams. It helps in specifying the objective of the task and adjusts to the strategic initiatives of the organization. If the members of the team are not aware of the objective and priorities of the task then they will not be able to completely dedicate themselves in the work. When the managers will be successful in making the employees understand about the objective of the organization then there will be scope for the short term workers to work in deadline and achieve success. If the team is provided with the general procedure guidelines and a minimal structure for their work, they will be able to attain the organizational goals (Henderson, Stackman and Lindekilde 2016). Global teams are set in many concepts that have various systems of organizational support that consists of HR policies, budgets, work processes and support people like IT tools and facilities, administrative support and facilitators. Insufficient or incompatible resources are the prime sources of frustration or discouragement for collaboration of global team. Again, international team members need to be efficient at working with diverse members, uncertainty of task and various types of team situations. They are sometimes selected only on the basis of expertise or job profile or their availability in doing the technical work. Studies have shown that team members are more comfortable in working in a global team if they are capable of doing the core task, flexible, goal- directed, self- disciplined, collaborative, and cooperative, want to exchange information and must be open to feedback. If a sense of urgency is caused in the team then the managers can focus on the task and decrease the complexity. Studies in this case showed that a group works better under strong deadline. But managers should be careful about implying urgency. It might happen that the employees might lose their nerves under pressure and their target is not achieved (Johnson 2014). Excessive pressure can lead the individuals to find solution to differences and they will anyhow come to an agreement in order to save their self interest. So, a manager must understand what type of urgency will have a positive impact on the employees and they will get involved in a global teamwork (Lilian 2014).

Cultural have an essential impact on management of global teams. If the cultural differences are examined, motivation of team members, preferences and management styles can be recognized. The dimension of hierarchy and individualism are necessary to understand the operational activities of an organization in various corners of the world with special focus on management of project. In the case of hierarchical distance, it is seen that there are smaller projects within a bigger structure. But it is not the most important criteria in decision making. Moreover, most of the team members need to have a tolerance for dubiousness and the ability to solve conflicts with highlight on the project interest and not hierarchy. It can also be stated that companies with low distance of hierarchy are efficient in organizing informal projects as compared to the companies with high distance of hierarchy which needs clear definition of power relations (Moran, Abramson and Moran 2014).

Benefits of global teams


From this assignment it can be concluded that communication barrier while working in global teams is a trending topic in the field of management. It can be argued that difference in cultural background do not always give rise to conflicts but gives a chance for its occurrence. One of the many aspects that can help the managers to utilize the effectiveness of global team is multi- cultural competence and the potential to adapt the leadership style as per the culture of the team. Cultural studies have classified different criteria and focused on the differences which can give rise to communication challenges among the members of different cultures.


Babar, M.A. and Lescher, C., 2014. Global software engineering: Identifying challenges is important and providing solutions is even better. Information and Software Technology, 56(1), pp.1-5.

Boutellier, R., Gassmann, O. and Von Zedtwitz, M., 2013. Managing global innovation: uncovering the secrets of future competitiveness. Springer Science & Business Media.

Colomo-Palacios, R., Casado-Lumbreras, C., Soto-Acosta, P., García-Peñalvo, F.J. and Tovar, E., 2014. Project managers in global software development teams: a study of the effects on productivity and performance. Software Quality Journal, 22(1), pp.3-19.

Cramton, C.D. and Hinds, P.J., 2014. An embedded model of cultural adaptation in global teams. Organization Science, 25(4), pp.1056-1081.

Dingsoyr, T. and Smite, D., 2014. Managing knowledge in global software development projects. IT Professional, 16(1), pp.22-29.

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Gibbs, J.L. and Boyraz, M., 2015. International HRM’s role in managing global teams. The Routledge companion to international human resource management, pp.532-551.

Henderson, L.S., Stackman, R.W. and Lindekilde, R., 2016. The centrality of communication norm alignment, role clarity, and trust in global project teams. International Journal of Project Management, 34(8), pp.1717-1730.

Johnson, P.F., 2014. Purchasing and supply management. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Lilian, S.C., 2014. Virtual teams: Opportunities and challenges for e-leaders. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 110, pp.1251-1261.

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Morgan, L., Paucar-Caceres, A. and Wright, G., 2014. Leading effective global virtual teams: The consequences of methods of communication. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 27(6), pp.607-624.

Müller, B.A., 2016. Managing Global Product Development Teams: a mixed-methods study of (Knowledge) Governance Mechanisms.

Parida, V., Sjödin, D.R., Lenka, S. and Wincent, J., 2015. Developing global service innovation capabilities: How global manufacturers address the challenges of market heterogeneity. Research-Technology Management, 58(5), pp.35-44.

Reiche, B.S., Mendenhall, M.E. and Stahl, G.K. eds., 2016. Readings and cases in international human resource management. Taylor & Francis.

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Tenzer, H. and Pudelko, M., 2015. Leading across language barriers: Managing language-induced emotions in multinational teams. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(4), pp.606-625

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