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Importance Of Managing Global Teams

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Question:

Write a Literature on Challenges of Managing Global Teams.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

With the inception of globalization changes is witnessed in almost all areas of businesses. Companies are addressing all these challenges associated with globalization by conducting a reconsideration of their conventional ways of performing the responsibilities (Jones and George 2015). For that reason, many global companies are developing teams with individuals from different geographical region. People coming from different ethnic and racial background need to work within one roof for the fulfilment of the organizational goals and objectives. It has created major challenges for the managers in handling all the members working within the same team. There are several factors including language differences, communication problem, misunderstanding and cultural differences that can have greater impact on the overall bonding of the team. It has induced managers to identify the areas of conflict to intervene in such a way so that it can create maximum team efficiency (Reiche, Mendenhall and Stahl 2016). Global teams are developed to enhance the efficiency level of the organization so that it can able to achieve sustainable growth in the market. Effective utilization of global teams can actually provide new dimension to the overall performance level of a team. On the other hand, it can also create several challenges within the work culture that might create adverse impact on the overall efficiency level. This study will highlight the core challenges associated with the global teams so that management can be ready to handle any type of unpleasant situation. This study will discuss concepts and perspectives highlighted by several authors in order to highlight the significance of maintaining global teams appropriately.   

Project Objective:

In order to evaluate the challenges associated in managing global teams, the study will focus on following objectives:

  • To provide in-depth overview about the concepts of managing global teams
  • To highlight the prime reasons for the businesses to use several global teams simultaneously
  • To identify all the challenges for the managers in handling a global team efficiency within a corporate structure
  • To highlight the gap after evaluation of different previous literatures related with handling global teams

Project Scope:

In the present competitive business environment, every business is looking to expand their reach across geographical boundaries. Almost all the multinational organizations have recruited people from all across the globe for performing all the requirements associated with the operational procedure (Mendenhall 2012). Therefore, organizations do not have any other options than to concentrate on utilizing of global teams. This study will have the opportunity to evaluate the overall concepts of global teams along with proper identification of pros and cons associated with it. The study will also have the scope to highlight several strategies initiated by managers from different multinational organizations for fulfilling all the organizational goals and objectives.  It can also provide the best possible way to use global teams for accomplishing all the operational responsibilities. Thus, the development of literature review section will help to enhance the overall quality of the information provided in the research study.  

 

Literature Review:

Previous literature review:

In this specific article, “Choices, Challenges, and Career Consequences of Global Work Experiences: A Review and Future Agenda” published by Shaffer et al. (2012), the author has highlighted future aspects of managing global teams for achieving business goals and objectives. The article have mentioned that the recruitment of global employees have increased at a significant rate over the past 20 years. The study has highlighted the way individuals opt for global careers for fulfilling their professional goals and objectives. The concept of expatriate has become very popular in recent times, as organizations are looking to send their best employees to perform global responsibilities. Considering the difficulty level in handling repatriation and expatriation, many companies have concentrated on developing global skills for performing overseas responsibilities. This study has examined the challenges, choices and consequences for handling different types responsibilities associated with global responsibilities. For that reason, the study has emphasized on utilizing proper training and development facilities for the managers so that they can able to handle all the provided responsibilities in an appropriate manner. The study has mentioned the significance of understanding different views and perspectives of individuals coming from different geographical, cultural and educational background at the time of developing appropriate coordination within the global team. The study has also classified the overall global work experience of the employees in different categories so that it can able to highlight all the challenges associated in maintain global teams for operational efficiencies. The study has highlighted the factors like stress, identity transformation, career transformation that can work as major internal influences to perform all their roles and responsibilities. On the other hand, economical and political pressure is highlighted as the prime external factors that induce businesses to use global teams for performing all the global responsibilities.

Overview of global teamwork:

Global teamwork refers to a group that includes people from different parts of the globe. Thus, global team inevitably requires appropriate participation of the people from different parts of the globe. Without the appropriate participation, it will be extremely difficult for any team to accomplish all the necessary goals and objectives (Boussebaa, Morgan and Sturdy 2012). Due to globalization, it has become a norm for any multinational organization to use employees from different geographical backgrounds. However, many studies have highlighted the fact that managers need to have in-depth skills in understanding the culture and background of the customers in an effective way. As per the article by Daim et al. (2012), utilization of global team will allow organizations to use cultural diversity for enhancing the efficiency level of the operational procedure. Multinational organizations like Coles and JB HI FI often create market research team for assessing the needs and wants of the customers. Similarly, it is essential to utilize personal sessions with all the employees for understanding their perspectives in an effective way. According to Erez et al. (2013) diverse group is likely to develop broad range of ideas, expertise and knowledge, which will eventually increase the efficiency of the operational procedure. For instance, Microsoft always focus on providing opportunities to the employees to share their thoughts and ideas in the brain storming sessions for accomplishing all the business goals successfully. In addition, many businesses have used outsourcing strategy for accomplishing their operational goals. As a result, it has induced employees of an organization to deal with employees from other countries on regular basis. Hence, utilization of proper communication network is critical for the advance utilization of global teams.

 


When employees are from different geographical and cultural background, leaders will have to be flexible enough with their initiated strategies for accomplishing the desired goals and objectives. Diversity in the initiated roles and responsibilities are likely to bring greater control over managing a particular team. As stated by Kim and McLean (2012) organizations need to be innovative with their delivery of products and services for remaining competitive in the global market. Thus, inclusion of global teams is likely to generate idea that is more creative, thoughts and perspectives, which will definitely increase the overall efficiency in a major way. However, global teams can also create several challenges in performing all the provided responsibilities. Therefore, managers will have to be extremely careful at the time of initiating strategies to perform operational responsibilities.

Importance of managing global teams for operational efficiency:

Before assessing the challenges associated with managing global teams, it is critical to highlight the necessity of using it. As stated by Boutellier, Gassmann and Von Zedtwitz (2013) almost all the prime organizations across different sector have developed branches or offices in different parts of the globe. As a result, they have to recruit people from all these countries to perform all the responsibilities associated with the operational procedure. Utilization of global teams has allowed organizations to develop innovative strategies and decisions for maintaining the competitive advantage in the global market. For that reason, leaders also have to possess enough knowledge and skills to handle employees from all possible background. As illustrated by Zander, Mockaitis and Butler (2012) global leadership reflects a process of leading independent people from different cultural, geographical and educational background. Traditionally, many multinational corporations have concentrated on differentiating strategies for maximizing the output of the team. In today’s complex business environment, majority of the global team management strategies aims to create proper coordination among all members of the team.

As per the article by Bannerman, Hossain and Jeffery (2012) inclusion of different background employees can allow organization to deal with global customers on regular basis. In the present competitive globe, all the businesses have to deal with different customers from all across the world. Now, utilization of global team will help organizations to understand the perspectives of the customers in an appropriate way. As a result, it will help organizations to create strong bonding with the customers, which will eventually create positive impact on the loyalty level (Stahl et al. 2012). Now, maintaining the loyalty level of the customers is critical for any business for achieving sustainable growth in the competitive market. In addition, inclusion of global team will help organizations to understand economic and political condition of different economies in an appropriate way (Lilian 2014). The legal guidelines are also different for different economies, which can create challenges in performing all responsibilities of the operational procedure. Therefore, inclusion of employees from different background is likely to provide assistance to the organization in avoiding any type of unnecessary activities. Thus, it has highlighted the fact that maintenance of global team is essential for achieving continues success in the global market.           

Challenges of business managers while managing global team:

Pinjani and Palvia (2013) have highlighted the fact that several challenges or obstacles are associated with the global team. Therefore, all the managers will have to focus on identifying all the relevant challenges in such a way so that it cannot able to create adverse impact on the operational performances. Firstly, lack of trust between each other within the group can be regarded as major challenge in developing global team. As per the article by Klitmøller and Lauring (2013), trust is essential to develop strong bonding among each other, which will eventually reduce the possibility of unproductive conflict within the team. Mutual trust is essential to cover all the basis of any group, which will resulted into maximum output at workplace. In the absence of mutual trust, all the team members can shy away from each other, which eventually resulted into adverse impact on the performances. Secondly, communication barrier is another prime concern that global teams will have to deal with in an effective way. People from different geographical locations will have different languages as their mother tongue (Morgan, Paucar-Caceres and Wright 2014). Therefore, they obviously feel more comfortable in speaking their preferred languages, which can create differentiation within the group.

 


Moreover, Muethel, Gehrlein and Hoegl (2012) have highlighted the fact that people living in different locations possess different values, beliefs and perspectives. As a result, they often choose different ways to express their thoughts and beliefs. Now, managers will have to understand these differences at the time of initiating any strategies. Otherwise, it can create significant amount of adverse impact on the performance level. The communication barriers also have to include challenges associated improper understanding of non-verbal communication. Recently, Woolworths has faced several challenges in initiating similar rule in all their branches, which have affected the overall efficiency of the operational procedure. Several studies have mentioned that proper understanding of non-verbal communication is essential element to develop effective groups within the workplace. However, people from different geographical locations often posses different body language that can create confusion within the work place. As described by Pirkkalainen and Pawlowski (2014) cultural barriers is another prime factor that can have major impact on the team performance level. Here, management will have to evaluate the cultural difference from the perspective of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, musicality and orientation of people coming from different cultural background. Thus, development of proper global team depends on effective minimization of these challenges for accomplishing organizational goals and objectives.      

Impact of global teamwork in business expansion:

Globalization has emerged as revolutionary concept that changed the business process completely. It has allowed overcoming the challenges associated with conducting business in overseas countries. Moreover, increasing reach of internet and technological advancement has transformed the way all the activities are conducted within the operational procedure. It has allowed businesses to maintain complex operational procedure for fulfilling all the business goals and objectives (Galliers and Leidner 2014). However, with the inclusion of complex operational process, every organization has focused on recruiting specialized people for all the activities associated with the operational procedure. For instance, retail giants like Tesco and Wal-Mart have included employees from different section of the globe so that they do not have to sacrifice with the quality of the resources. Therefore, they had no other option than to recruit suitable individual from all across the globe. Now, utilization of global people will allow multinational organizations to establish its presence in the targeted market respectfully. People from different countries will able to connect with the offered products and services psychologically. As a result, people will tend to purchase the offered products or services on a much more frequent manner. Taras et al. (2013) have mentioned the fact that organizations will have to use global teams for developing strong customer service team. It is likely that diversified workforce will able to understand the perspectives of customers from different committees in an appropriate manner. As a result, it would increase the quality of the provided solutions. Therefore, it is likely to keep customers happy and satisfied with the provided quality of products and service.    

 

Literature gap:

The above evaluation has highlighted the fact that appropriate utilization of global teams is essential for accomplishing all the business goals and objectives. It has mentioned the way global teams is likely to enhance the revenue level of the organization. However, the study has also highlighted different challenges associated with the development of global teams. However, there is no specific ways has been developed for avoiding such challenges for the effective fulfilment of organizational goals and objectives. The previous studies also have not considered the way business environment has changed over the past few years in a significant manner. Moreover, the kind of impact inclusion of indigenous people will have on the efficiency level of a global team. Therefore, there are many scopes to conduct research activities for identifying the best possible way to handle challenges associated with managing global teams.    

Conclusion:

Managing of global teams has emerged as one of the prime challenges for the managers for ensuring continues growth in the global market. Over the years, several organizations have developed different strategies for keeping the diversified workforce happy and satisfied with the provided roles and responsibilities. However, managers in different multinational organizations will have to acquire different skills and knowledge for handling employees from different geographical and cultural background for long period of time. The leaders will have to focus on assessing the way people from different geographical region communicates with each other. It will allow the managers to identify the best possible way to transfer information in an appropriate way. In addition, managers will also have to provide special attention to all the employees so that they do not feel neglected within the workplace. Moreover, the management will have to ensure employees from all background can have equal amount of opportunity for career progression in order to accomplish all the goals of developing global teams.

 

References:

Bannerman, P.L., Hossain, E. and Jeffery, R., 2012, January. Scrum practice mitigation of global software development coordination challenges: A distinctive advantage?. In System Science (HICSS), 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on (pp. 5309-5318). IEEE.

Boussebaa, M., Morgan, G. and Sturdy, A., 2012. Constructing global firms? National, transnational and neocolonial effects in international management consultancies. Organization Studies, 33(4), pp.465-486.

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

Daim, T.U., Ha, A., Reutiman, S., Hughes, B., Pathak, U., Bynum, W. and Bhatla, A., 2012. Exploring the communication breakdown in global virtual teams. International Journal of Project Management, 30(2), pp.199-212.

Erez, M., Lisak, A., Harush, R., Glikson, E., Nouri, R. and Shokef, E., 2013. Going global: Developing management students' cultural intelligence and global identity in culturally diverse virtual teams. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12(3), pp.330-355.

Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E. eds., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Jones, G. and George, J., 2015. Contemporary management. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Kim, S. and McLean, G.N., 2012. Global talent management: Necessity, challenges, and the roles of HRD. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 14(4), pp.566-585.

Klitmøller, A. and Lauring, J., 2013. When global virtual teams share knowledge: Media richness, cultural difference and language commonality. Journal of World Business, 48(3), pp.398-406.

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

Mendenhall, M.E. ed., 2012. Global leadership: Research, practice, and development. Routledge.

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.

Muethel, M., Gehrlein, S. and Hoegl, M., 2012. Socio?demographic factors and shared leadership behaviors in dispersed teams: Implications for human resource management. Human Resource Management, 51(4), pp.525-548.

Pinjani, P. and Palvia, P., 2013. Trust and knowledge sharing in diverse global virtual teams. Information & Management, 50(4), pp.144-153.

Pirkkalainen, H. and Pawlowski, J.M., 2014. Global social knowledge management–understanding barriers for global workers utilizing social software. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, pp.637-647.

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

Shaffer, M.A., Kraimer, M.L., Chen, Y.P. and Bolino, M.C., 2012. Choices, challenges, and career consequences of global work experiences: A review and future agenda. Journal of Management, 38(4), pp.1282-1327.

Stahl, G., Björkman, I., Farndale, E., Morris, S.S., Paauwe, J., Stiles, P., Trevor, J. and Wright, P., 2012. Six principles of effective global talent management. Sloan Management Review, 53(2), pp.25-42.

Taras, V., Caprar, D.V., Rottig, D., Sarala, R.M., Zakaria, N., Zhao, F., Jiménez, A., Wankel, C., Lei, W.S., Minor, M.S. and Bry?a, P., 2013. A global classroom? Evaluating the effectiveness of global virtual collaboration as a teaching tool in management education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12(3), pp.414-435.

Zander, L., Mockaitis, A.I. and Butler, C.L., 2012. Leading global teams. Journal of World Business, 47(4), pp.592-603.

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