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The Management Of Cross-Cultural Teams In Multinational Organizations Add in library

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Describe about the Cross Cultural Management and the management of cross-cultural teams in Multinational organizations?


Cross Cultural Management:


 Culture is the outcome of one’s heritage, it passes from generation to generations. It is the idea that is believed by a group of people. Every ethnic group in this world has its own culture. Their values are shaped by their culture. In this report all, the issues that arise because of differences in culture in multinational corporations are carefully examined. The report is based on the study done by Rodrigues and Sbragia on “The cultural challenges of managing global project”. The report examines the managerial implications while expatriating employees on global projects. A brief understanding is done on the issues that the personnel face when they travel outside their respective countries and cultures (Heine, 2008). The study is divided into four sections; the first section is a brief introduction of the topic. All the issues are that arise in cross cultural work groups are briefly discussed. The second section discusses the competencies of the personnel, whom the organization should select, and the duties and responsibilities of the Project managers and the organization (Haghirian, 2011). The third section talks about managing the groups and turning them to a competitive advantage of the organization. Lastly, the reviews that the researchers have made in the journal are discussed.

The management of cross-cultural teams in Multinational organizations:

The study talks about the hitches that the multinational organizations face in managing the work groups of various cultures. The study is a careful examination of the study done by Ivete Rodrigues and Roberto Sbragia on “The cultural challenges of managing Global project Teams: a study of Brazilian Nationals”. The study is done to understand how the difficulties in managing these work groups can be solved. An organization works towards many goals, out of which its major goal is to maximize its profit. If the work groups do not tend to work in coordination with each other, then attaining such goals is not possible. The management of such work group is difficult because the variation is too high (Heagney, 2012). People tend to behave in a way, which reflects their cultures and customs. The behaviour of employees does not match each other. The ability of the organizations to integrate these cross culture groups efficiently gives them a competitive edge over the employees. This ability to incorporate the resources, assets and knowledge of the employees make huge differences in the success graph of the company. The cultural beliefs of the teams can cause impacts and can lead to huge success and failures of the company. Such an impact the cultural difference has. Regardless of such importance, a very little attention has been paid on this topic by the researchers.


The impacts of cultures:

Through the analysis of cultural differences management styles, motivation of team members can be identified. This also tells how the organizations perform all round the globe. The behaviour of the teams can be analysed. However, in individualism, the researchers have chalked out that individualistic cultures it looks good, but in collectivist cultures, the people are more likely to lose their identity (Guo, 2009). They feel a loss in identity. In case of expatriation, the cultures with individualistic orientation have more cultural clashes within a country. The hierarchy decides the level of proximities. In companies with low hierarchy, arrange their projects more casually, whereas the companies with huge hierarchies have very formal relationships during projects. In individualistic countries, the communication that takes place is closed ended and in countries with collectivist approach, the countries are multiple and open ended (Rodrigues, 1998).

The Challenges:

The challenge that a cross-cultural team faces can be explained through an example. There is a huge difference in the working procedures. The Japanese are very humble in their workplace and they do not deny on the face. The Japanese do not like to uncover or discuss organizational issues openly; they believe there is a process of doing everything. The reaction process of the Japanese is slow. On the other hand, people on the west are open in speech and they tend to discuss the problems and resolve them.

Management of inter culture competence:

The inter culture talent should be selected keeping in view a few aspects. These aspects are prior experiences of living in a collectivist environment, interest of travelling globally, experience of working on off shore projects and openness to new experiences. More the familiarity with the host country less is the cultural differences (Understanding Cross-Cultural Management, 2015). The individual competence is very important to acclimatize according to the cultural norms of other countries to survive in the global projects. To do so one needs to know thoroughly the values of cultures and learn to compare various cultures. Intermingling with other cultures with an open mind does not mean forgetting one`s own individuality and culture (Heine, 2008).


Managing Global Teams:

In their study, Rodrigues and Sbargia reviewed that the manger`s role is confined to the process of recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and other HR activities with a little attention to issues like cultural management (Project and program management, 2013).The intricacy to work abroad with multicultural people is a great difficulty. Modern Human resource management has started the analysis of this and this is what differentiates it from the traditional human resource management (Zając, 2013). The study suggests the best way to manage these intercultural differences is to acclimatize the organizational policies and to mend them according to a common culture of the organization culture (Livermore, 2011). There are policies that may work in one country but not in another country, so policies can be liberalised as per the need of the countries. Nothing rigid is followed. This might hurt the sentiments of any work group. The policies should be able to deal with the differences (Zhang, 2009). The engagement of employees on global projects has strategic value that can affect the ability of an organization to retain them in the organization with same enthusiasm. Their allocation on various projects must be done after the assessment of their previous works (Rodrigues, 2009). Not just the availability they must also assess the precise development, needs, knowledge should be assessed. The developmental teams usually doe the review of the projects and gives feedbacks. Only few managers are able to cater the needs of other professional on issues like support for career management (Velo, 2011).

Demobilization of the global teams:

Demobilization of the team members is a very important task of the Project manager. Once the project work is finish, the teams have to be relocated. The routine operations have to be carried out. In the global projects, there are functional activities and the use of a matrix structure in the organization is always seen (King, 2011). Once the projects are over the team members expatriated are repatriated again; and those who were professionals hired from outside are laid off to minimize the extra costs that would incur after retaining them unnecessarily (Taylor and Lennon, 2012). The data below indicates the significance of intercultural ability of the individuals to retain in the global projects (Rodrigues, 1998).

Source: (Roberto Sbragia, 2011)

It is the responsibility of the project manager to plan the constituency of a team, and it is the responsibility of the organization to retain them. The project manager settles the best human resource available, in the project (Pyndt and Pedersen, 2006). It is the duty of the organization to incorporate such selection process and consider the cultural issues. So that issues do not arise creating differences between the employees. It came out during the research that only cultural differences were not responsible for the performances of the teams. Cultural differences only affected the performances of the teams. There are various other reasons for the overall development of an organization. The factors like political geographical, and economical should also be considered.


Literature Review:

Cultural management is an important issue that has been researched by many authors. This issue has a major impact on the success of multinational organizations. The organizations hire personnel who are bright but the issue arises when they are expatriated to other countries on projects. These individuals are facing the problem of coping with other cultures. The differences in cultures affect the mind set and ultimately the work is hampered. People with open mind can adapt themselves to those cultures but the people from countries of individualistic culture face the problem of working together in other cultured countries. Prior to this study, a lot of research is done in this regard. The present report incorporates the research, writing and intellectual opinions to cross cultural management and the influence of the issue in global projects of the multinational companies. Various studies have a reference to this study. The article on cross culture management by N.J Adler talks of all the issues that we have discussed here. In the year 2004, Daniels, lee, and Sullivan also discussed on the same issue on their journal of cross-cultural management.

Research methodology:

The report is an exploratory qualitative research and the search is based on case study (Dane, 2011). The sample size of the project was six global projects in six different companies.  

The analysis was done on global projects. The researcher personally collected the data within duration of 120 minutes. The key format of the study was the managers of the global projects (Bell, 2010). The treatment of the data that was used listening and transcribing of the interviews of the employees. The analysis has used various others reports propounded by various other authors.

Findings and conclusions of the researcher:

On the research on Brazilian multinationals, the research has thrown light on the key elements of the issue of multiculturalism. The cultural differences that the personnel face have been brought up. Because of internationalization, Strategies are needed to manage people. The researchers have used definitions like expatriation policy, training the personnel and developing them into a part of collective society. It is up to the Project manager to distinguish qualified professionals. The knowledge beyond technical skills should go so that the professionals become competent to face such issues. The project manager has to build a team of qualified professional with collective approach but the organization should retain them. Therefore, the management of such teams needs a leader who would be able to access and transfer between the respective departments.


Personal Reflection:

The authors above have mentioned many valid points to support their research. The authors have argument of the management of cross culture multinational Organization. The organizations in order to enhance the functioning of the organization should look upon the various issues that happen because of cross-cultural misunderstandings. This recent phenomenon has taken place recently in the Brazil. The global project managers have to understand the rapport between cultural characteristics and management teams. The study has taken six cases of Brazilian multinational companies to understand the management of such teams and deepen the concepts including planning, deployment, development, and management of the human resources. In the study, it came out as a result that a little attention has been paid to the issue of multiculturalism and the inter-cultural enticement that should be given to the team members for their development. This is little ignored but the impact is huge in hampering the construction of a global approach and functioning of the Brazilian multinationals to work outside the Nation. The study helps to find out the various ways to handle such situation. This was suggested in three different dimensions; the project itself, the organization and the global environment. The work has the aim to maximise the benefits of global teams by increasing their creativity and innovation in their capacity to deliver. The avoidance of these issues of multiculturalism can bring ranging from divergence between labour and project failure. The national cultures and intercultural competence has been discussed. The author has rightly said that culture has an impact on humans as a metal programming comprised of the pattern of thoughts. These patterns of thoughts shape the behaviour of every individual. It is an outcome of constant learning and determines partially the behaviour of human beings. The authors also talk about the upbringing of human beings in individualistic and collectivistic environment. This environment affects a lot on the behaviours of individuals. The people born in collectivistic environment are more positive towards interacting with people of other communities. These people can easily intermingle and do not show negative attitude towards the behaviours of people of other communities. On the other hand, the people of individualistic culture are very rigid in nature and they never look forward to learn or behave in integrity with the people of other cultures. The diversity of minds is necessary to deal with a common culture of an organization and there are more praising points than contradictions in the study. The task of recruiting people of various nationals involves risks but the best way to conduct such recruitments is that organizations should acclimatize itself in such an environment, which has a common behaviour towards all the employees. The common organizational culture would help all the employees to integrate themselves with fellow employees and the organization. The performance of the teams can be improved when the multicultural teams will learn to act as a team and develop various strategies to overcome the linguistic and cultural obstructions.


The cross-cultural issues arise in every multinational corporation but there are certain ways to eliminate these issues. Adaptation is the first approach that should be adopted by the employees. They have to acclimatize themselves in new environment with new people. This would help them to enhance their own growth too. Structural intervention is necessary where the ion organization can adopt reorganization or reassignment to reduce the interpersonal rasping. Managerial intervention should be avoided and all the employees of the group should be allowed to come up with their thoughts to the company.



Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press.

Dane, F. (2011). Evaluating research. Los Angeles: Sage.

Guo, R. (2009). Cross-cultural economic management. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Haghirian, P. (2011). Multinationals and cross-cultural management. London: Routledge.

Heagney, J. (2012). Fundamentals of project management. New York: American Management Association.

Heine, S. (2008). Cultural psychology. New York: W.W. Norton.

King, T. (2011). A companion to cultural resource management. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Livermore, D. (2011). The cultural intelligence difference. New York: American Management Association.

Understanding Cross-Cultural Management. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Feb. 2015].

Peterson, M. and Søndergaard, M. (2008). Foundations of cross cultural management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Pyndt, J. and Pedersen, T. (2006). Managing global offshoring strategies. Køge, Denmark: Copenhagen Business School Press.

Rodrigues, C. (1998). Cultural classifications of societies and how they affect cross‐cultural management. Cross Cultural Management, 5(3), pp.31-41.

Rodrigues, C. (2009). International management. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Roberto Sbragia, I. (2011). 1st ed.

Project and program management. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press (2013). 

Taylor, K. and Lennon, J. (2012). Managing cultural landscapes. London: Routledge.

Velo, V. (2011). Cross-cultural management. New York: Business Expert Press.

Zając, J. (2013). Communication in global corporations. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Zhang, X. (2009). Values, expectations, ad hoc rules, and culture emergence in international cross-cultural management contexts. New York: Nova Science Publishers.


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