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Jan Ifversen

Managing Global Teams: ignoring, essentialising or leveraging cultural diversity?

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review

In the 21st century, global teams have become an established form of organising work in multinational organisations. Composed of a diversity of experiences, frames of references, com-petencies, information and, not least, cultural backgrounds they hold a unique potential for de-livering high performance in terms of innovative and creative approaches to global management tasks; however, instead of focusing on the potentials of cultural diversity, practitioners and scholars of global teams tend to approach cultural diversity as a barrier to team success. Based on close textual interpretation of 31 semi-structured in depths interviews, this paper argues that the degree of essentialism managers of global leadership teams apply to the concept of ‘culture’ significantly affects the way they recognise roles and positions in their teams and hence their leadership style. Their understandings of culture were used to explain differences and similari-ties between team members, which profoundly affected the social practices and dynamics of the global team. We conclude that only global teams with team leaders who are highly aware of the multiple cultural perspectives at play in different contexts within the team also hold the capacity to demonstrate agility in leveraging such differences and similarities into dynamic and inclusive team practices. On this basis, we propose a model for developing intercultural competence for team leaders and team members in global teams.
Antal sider40
StatusAfsendt - 2019

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