Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective

Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective

Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective

Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective

Synopsis

This authored book's purpose is to extend and consolidate the evolving literature on multinational work teams by developing a comprehensive theory that incorporates a dynamic, multilevel view of such teams. The model used by the authors focuses on various features of the team's members, their interactions as a team, and the organizational context in which they operate. The concept of integration and differentiation, as well as the notion of equilibrium are used as a general force guiding the specific processes that link various levels of analysis in the model. Providing a framework for scholars and students in the field of organizational studies, this book presents:

• a comprehensive review of the literature related to multinational and multicultural teams;

• an overview of the specific model driving our thinking along with an extensive description of the component parts;

• the individual and group-level elements of teams and their members;

• the linking processes that connect various elements and structures;

• the catalysts that give rise to changes in various elements and structures described in the theory section; and

• a general integration of the model and an application of this framework for understanding MNT's in diverse cultural contexts.

Excerpt

The use of teams in educational, humanitarian, and business organizations has been increasing over the last several decades. For the most part, this increase reflects the belief that teams are an appropriate structure for implementing strategies formulated to deal with performance demands and opportunities presented by the changing business environment. Organizations are experiencing dramatically increased pressures for performance. They are being required to develop and deliver products and services at lower costs but with higher quality and increased speed. A great deal of the research and popular literature proffers teams of various sorts as an appropriate design response to these performance pressures for speed, cost, quality, and innovation. Much of the literature on quality management, for example, recommends teams to make improvements in organizational processes. This recommendation is based on the understanding that processes cut across organizational departments and that a process cannot be optimized without examining it in its entirety. What current research programs have failed to address, however, are the interests of multinational organizations with facilities in several countries. When adopting team-based systems across their global facilities, multinational organizations face special challenges. Intercultural theories of organizational behavior suggest that teams must be implemented in a manner that incorporates the cultural backgrounds of the members of a team; however, to date, a unifying theory explicating this process is nonexistent.

The purpose of our book is to extend and consolidate the evolving literature on multinational teams by developing a comprehensive theory that incorporates a dynamic, multilevel view of teams. Our model focuses on various features of a team's members, their interactions as a team, and the organizational context in which they operate. We use the concepts of inte-

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