Essays on Advantages and Disadvantages of Working in International Teams Coursework

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Advantages and Disadvantages of Working in International Teams" is a great example of management coursework.   Globalization is the cause of the many changes taking place in teamwork today. Many international organizations are involved in projects spanning several nationalities, various time zones, and wide geographical distances. Working in international teams is teamwork that includes people from different nationalities and cultures. With globalization, people around the world are becoming more and more interdependent, and with the day, many organizations are diversifying and entering the global market. People from different cultures and nationalities behave differently and have antagonistic beliefs and practices.

Therefore, international teams face unique challenges and therefore, their successful management is in itself a challenge. Multicultural teams form a critical part of the modern business environment. Any member willing to work in international teams must possess cross-cultural knowledge. This report will discuss various issues related to working in international teams concerning Belbin and Tuchman’ s Theories. It also provides recommendations on the process to overcome multicultural challenges facing international teams. 2. International Teams Due to the rapid improvements taking place in the global scene, a team should not only have different skills but different cultures as well.

Cultural diversity in teams is now a source of competitive advantage (Higgs, 1996). a) Advantages and Disadvantages of International Teams In the modern world, working in international teams cannot be avoided. Therefore, people must desire to reap the benefits of such arrangements but also learn how to deal with the problems that come with them (Cox, 1991). International teams have been found to be the ideal vehicles of overcoming many challenges facing organizations. For example, they help to transcend cultural, national and organizational boundaries (Jeanne, Behvar & Kern, 2006).

They are important in providing flexibility and integrating skills and capabilities scattered across the globe. Where there are virtual teams, they provide links across geographical boundaries. International teams are catalysts for new organizational forms, and so they change the conceptions people hold about organizational boundaries (Mor Borak, 2005). International teams can promote higher levels of innovation and creativity than single cultural groups. Developing an intercultural strategy is hard because it requires various tactics to manage cultural diversity and convert the differences into a competitive advantage (Frank, 2007; Earley, & Gibson, 2002).

Studies reveal that due to the diversity present, multicultural teams may quickly reach a better solution for solving complex issues. An international team can obtain synergies due to the varied cultural approaches such as human, technical and commercial approaches used in problem-solving (Herriot & Pemberton, 1995). Organizations ought to understand how to deal with diversity and be in a position to operate efficiently (Oertig, & Buergi, 2006). International teams are not only gaining a competitive advantage from their multicultural identity, but they also have the capacity to develop skills that are adaptable to the local culture and make it possible for their firms to adapt to new markets (Shapiro, Von Glinow & Cheng, 2005). International teams also have their disadvantages.

Working in international teams may create a situation whereby the members of the team start depending on certain dominant cultural groups or people (Maier, 2005). Some members may feel that a certain individual from a particular cultural group is dominating a meeting or seems to know more than others. Such dominant people or groups may prevent others from taking part in the affairs of the team because they need all the time to make their contributions (Shepherd, 2008).


Alexei V.M. & Milter, G.R 2004. The value of intercultural competence for performance of multicultural teams. Team Performance Management, 10(5/6), 104‐111.

Hurt, A.C. & Trombley, M.S. 2007. The Punctuated-Tuckman: Towards a New Group Development Model. Texas A&M University.

Jeanne, B., Behvar, K. & Kern, M.C. 2006. Managing Multicultural Teams in Harvard Business Review, 84‐91.

Frank, J.B 2007. The Global Business Leader. New York: Palgrave Macmillian.

Chong, E. 2005. Role balance and team development: A study of team role characteristics under- lying high and low performing teams. Working Paper Series 1(4), Victoria University of Wellington.

Cox, T. 1991. Effects of ethnic group differences on cooperative and competitive behavior on a group task. Academy of Management Journal, 34 (4), 827-847.

Cox, T. 1991. Managing cultural diversity: Implications for Organizational competitiveness. Academy of Management Executives, 5 (3), 45-58.

Earley, P. C. & Gibson, CB 2002. Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective. Mahwah, NJ: LEA Publishers

Guirdham, M. 1999. Communicating across Cultures. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sangeeta, G. 2008. Mine the Potential of Multicultural Teams: Mesh cultural differences to enhance productivity. HR Magazine: October, 79‐84.

Halverson, B. C. & S. Tirmizi, A. 2008. Effective Multicultural Teams: Theory and Practice. New York: Springer.

Heimer, C. & Vince, R. 1998. Sustainable learning and change in international teams: from imperceptible behaviour to rigorous practice. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 2(1), 36‐43.

Herriot, P. & Pemberton, C. 1995. Competitive Advantage through Diversity: Organizational Learning from Difference. London: SAGE Publications.

Higgs, M. 1996. Overcoming the problems of cultural differences to establish success for international management teams. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 19(2), pp. 83-8.

Howland, J.S. 2001. Challenges of working in a multicultural environment. Journal of

Library Administration, 33, 105-123.

Iles, P. & Hayers, K.P. 1997. Managing diversity in transnational project teams”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 12(2), pp. 95-117.

Maier, C. 2005. A conceptual framework for leading diversity. International Journal of

Human Resources Development and Management, 5, 412-424.

Mor Borak, M. 2005. Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Norman W.S. & Drewery, G.P. 2006. Forming cohesion in culturally heterogeneous teams. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 13(1), pp.43‐53.

Ochieng, E.G. & Price, A.D. 2009. Framework for managing multicultural project teams. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 16(6), 527‐543.

Oertig, M. & Buergi, T. 2006. The challenges of managing cross-cultural virtual project teams. Team Performance Management, 12(1/2), pp. 23-30.

Porter, J.C. 1995. Facilitating cultural diversity. Journal of Management in Engineering, 11, 39-43.

Shepherd, M. 2008. Managing Transnational Projects. In D. I. Cleland, & L. R. Ireland, Project Manager's Handbook: applying best practices across global industries (pp. 1- 39).McGraw-Hill.

Shapiro, D. L., Von Glinow, M. & Cheng, J.L.C 2005. Managing Multinational Teams: Global Perspectives. Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI.

Vakola, M. & Wilson, I.E. 2004. The challenge of virtual organisations: critical success factors in dealing with constant change. Team Performance Management, 10(5/6), pp. 112-20.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us