Discuss about the Challenges Managing Global Teams.
Global leaders should have certain skills necessary to succeed in leading global projects. Management practices assumes that leaders benefit from their past experience in the home country and standardize the business processes to be applied in the global context. Despite of this, other researchers argue that certain leadership skills as acceptance of cultural differences and the ability to manage employees with multi-cultural backgrounds are essential to the global leader. Certain actions should be taken by the HRM, represented in building the first line managers necessary skills, providing training and development programs to enhance collaboration across globally, operating projects and creating a career path for future leaders. Managing global projects require the development of the skills of the first line managers across all of the projects, also, they need to be supported and encouraged to manage work in the global projects to be able to take leading positions. Necessary skills for first line leaders are, managing change, coaching, conflict management, team building, communication with team members and performance management (Prager & Such 2010).
This report consists of three parts, first it discusses the objectives of the research, then it clarifies the focus of the research, then it deeply represents the relevant literature review related to the challenges of global team management.
- Critically analyzing the challenges that face global managers in relation to team management.
- Describing the skills necessary to the success of global managers.
- Focusing on the cultural differences and ways to successfully managing them.
- Highlighting the importance of group dynamics and the threats of global differences.
- Defining necessary actions to be taken by global managers to succeed.
- Clarifying the role of ICT in global project management.
- Analyzing the barriers that could lead to the failure of the global project.
This research focuses on the challenges of managing global teams, as there is a big importance to have effective global leaders in the cross- culture context. Globalization has influenced certain business activities which created opportunities for globally operating organizations and also created challenges that organizational management has to deal with to succeed in accomplishing its global mission, which differs from its national business. Effectiveness of global leaders is necessary, that’s why global talented should be acquired and retained to ensure performance development.
- Managing global teams
Globalization affects today's business. As a growing number of organizations is operating globally. Managers and employees are devoted to work in the host countries in the multi-cultural environment. Issues related to employee management in the global environment are the main concern of the international HRM. The cultural variations and strategic complexities are critical issues that should be managed. It is important to select employees with specific capabilities to be globally allocated to make sure they are able to accomplish the business strategy. This alignment is a complex task as manager should be well prepared to lead in the global context. The criteria of selecting managers and employees should be clear and they should be well trained for doing clear job tasks in order to develop global managers and employees. The global managers should have specific requirements and special skills, capabilities and knowledge to enable them to operate in the global context. The personality traits plays a big role in the global manager's ability to deal with multi-cultural individuals' backgrounds, such as emotional stability and the degree of openness to others which facilitate the multi-cultural interactions and enhances the change of the manager to succeed in taking the right decisions and solve problems (Bücker & Poutsma 2010).
- Possible challenge of managing global teams:
Literature review of global team management challenges
The main goal for the human resource management is to maximize the benefits of global teams through creating competitive advantage and enhancing performance, this is considered one of the most challenging issues. Also, talent management concerns with some of the HR activities such as, selecting, retaining and developing the talented employees. Also career management could be a part of talent management to retain the best employees when their career is secure. These employees are called the high potentials who are committed to the long term success of the organization. Operating in the global market raises the challenge of the internationalization of the talent management, and their ability to effectively manage global teams. Some managers believe that the standardization of local operations to the global operations will lead them to succeed, which is not always true (Woollard 2010).
- Team management
The process of managing global teams focuses on the extent to which managers could apply their managerial practices in the global context for example, managing expatriates, managing people from different cultures. Global managers should identify and select the needed manpower for certain project, hire and allocate the work force, train the selected employees and develop their skills to implement the global project with the required quality and control the productivity according to the contract conditions. The behavior of the team members has to be monitored, the problem should be solved and changed has to be managed to guarantee the best performance of the project. The performance of the team members should be monitored by the manager in the global projects, this process assists the manager to make necessary changes to make sure of achieving the global projects' goals. Cultural sensitivity of managers helps them to manage conflicts and shorten the period needed by employees from the host country to be at ease and express their ideas. In other words, horizontal relationship with team members is required as it encourages taking initiatives and innovation (Rodrigues & Sbragia 2013).
- Team development
It is considered the manager responsibility to explore the areas that need to be developed among team members and raise their capabilities through various means to achieve a high level of performance. Researchers argue that the manager has to offer opportunities as well as challenges and to support the team members and provide them with constructive and timely feedback and the culture issues should take a big place in the global projects. The training needs of the team members should be fulfilled. Behavioral skills should also be developed. The manager should have a close relationship with the team members to eliminate conflicts caused by cultural differences (Rodrigues & Sbragia 2013).
- Blended organizational culture
Employee management in a multi-cultural environment
Females are taking more professional and managerial positions, and more ages, different cultural groups, lifestyles and abilities do exist in the workplace.
These varieties of factors concerning people within globally operating organizations represent challenges and benefits in team formulation, creativity, and idea generation. Effective global leaders have to manage the competitiveness, keeping the core values of the organization and monitor the performance to ensure the success of the global project. The global leader has to choose the appropriate leadership style and respect cultural differences. Global leaders should anticipate challenges and be ready for opportunities, as leaders are the highest influential characters in the organization (Chuang 2013).
- Group dynamic
The group dynamic requires the readiness of leaders who can adapt their leadership style according to the context. In certain cases, the leadership is affected by the behavior of the team members and their preferences. Group dynamic may involve norms, behaviors, rules, and relations which affect the leadership style. It is also considered a source of cultural innovation (Chuang 2013).
- Gender differences
Females at workplace are different from males, as they like to build interpersonal relationships, but males deal in more aggressive than females. Women empowerment is used to help women to be escalated in senior positions. Global managers should understand that the number of working females is increasing and understanding their stereotype can help the global leader to deal with them (Chuang 2013).
- Global performance management
It is only meant with measuring the performance of the expatriates in the global organizations, the host country employees and international assignees, who have short-term contracts. The performance assessment includes the costs and career development required for expatriates. Global performance management is considered the main task of the HRM in the global organization (Engle, Festing & Dowling 2014).
- Organizational action for managing a multi-generational workforce
Aging population needs a special way of communication, which the global manager should take into consideration. Also, younger managers need skill development to effectively communicate with aging people. According to Walker (2005), as cited in Mahon and Millar (2014), age management has five dimensions represented in training, recruitment, promotion, flexibility and changing attitudes toward aging employees. Aging workers have tacit knowledge of a variety of processes within the organization as technology, marketing, management and many other. This knowledge has a great value any sometimes not considered by managers (Mahon & Millar 2014).
- The role of ICT in managing global teams
Software development is globally increasing, as it assists in the global access to talented employees, assists in cost reduction and enables the global presence of the organization. Investment in global software development has great benefits to organizations, as it enables the access to global markets and creates an opportunity to explore different cultures which enables the organization to get information about different consumers' preferences and brings diversification to the work environment. It also facilitates the exchange of ideas through collective thinking. Also, ICT enables the unification of team members who work within the same global project (Alami 2016).
- Virtual teams
Talent management and selecting managers and employees
The environments of virtual teams enable in connecting employees effectively and efficiently. They can also provide access to resources and enable high productivity levels. Virtual teams work around the clock, allowing for diversity of knowledge, skills and expertise about customers and work processes, creativity and innovativeness, promote for quality, lower cultural differences, create talent pool, saving costs and time. Information sharing is managed through the internet, videoconferencing and e-mail. Technological advance enables communications between the virtual teams, which is more complex than ace to face communication, as feedback may be slower, but the tasks are highly structured (Gera 2013).
Coordination between the global project teams and task forces is considered a highly challenging issue for global managers. As managers may use the social media applications as a channel of communication with team members in different places in the world. Each individual member of the global project has a certain cultural background which may lead to the project failure if they were not managed well. The impact of cultural diversity on the employee performance should be clear to the global manager to manage conflicts properly (Rodrigues & Sbragia 2013).
- Barriers to global projects environments
There exist barriers to global project environments according to Barnwell et al. (2015), as follows:
- Conflicts resulting from differences of points of views among the global project team members due to cultural aspects, standards and interests which may be totally different.
- The conflict of tasks and roles in the host country from the role in the home country, which result in mismanagement of priorities and time and the project schedule may vary as a result of role conflict.
- Mismanagement may lead to power struggle, conflict within the team members, accordingly, some ideas may be prioritized at the expense of others.
A growing number of organizations are operating globally. Managers and employees are devoted to work in the host countries in the multi-cultural environment.
It is important to select employees with specific capabilities to be globally allocated to make sure they are able to accomplish the business strategy, which is considered a complex task that should be carefully managed. The global managers should have specific requirements and special skills, capabilities and knowledge to enable them to operate in the global context, such as emotional stability and the degree of openness to others which facilitate the multi-cultural interactions.
Possible challenges of managing global teams are discussed, including team management, as hiring and allocating the workforce, training the selected employees and developing their skills to implement the global project. Team development is considered the responsibility of the global manager as the training needs of the team members should be fulfilled.
Blended organizational culture sheds the light on new phenomenal at the workplace as female empowerment, different ages, different cultural groups, lifestyles and abilities.
Group dynamic include requiring the readiness of leaders who can adapt their leadership style according to the context. Gender differences requires global managers should understand that the number of working females is increasing and understanding their stereotype can help the global leader to deal with them.
Alami, A 2016, 'Global project management challenges', PM World Journal, 2016, pp. 1-15.
Barnwell, D, Nedrick, S, Rudolph, E, Sesay, M & Wellen, W 2015, 'Leadership of international and virtual project teams', International Journal of Global Business, 2015, pp. 1-8.
Bücker, J & Poutsma, E 2010, 'Global management competencies: a theoretical foundation', Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol 25, no. 8, pp. 829-844.
Chuang, S 2013, 'Essential skills for leadership effectiveness in diverse workplace development', Online Journal for Workforce Education and Development, vol 6, no. 1, pp. 1-23.
Engle, A, Festing, M & Dowling, P 2014, 'Proposing processes of global performance management: an analysis of the literature', Journal of Global Mobility, vol 2, no. 1, pp. 5-25.
Gera, S 2013, 'Virtual teams versus face to face teams: A review of literature', IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 2013, pp. 1-4.
Mahon, J & Millar, C 2014, 'Management: the challenges of global age diversity for corporations and governments', Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol 27, no. 4, pp. 553-568.
Prager, H & Such, B 2010, 'Building a global management pipeline', Industrial and Commercial Training, vol 42, no. 3, pp. 60-163.
Rodrigues, I & Sbragia, R 2013, 'The cultural challenges of managing global project teams: a study of Brazilian multinationals', Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, vol 8, pp. 38 - 52.
Woollard, S 2010, 'Managing talent across a global workforce', Strategic HR Review, vol 9, no. 5, pp. 5-10.
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