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WHAT MAKES INTERNATIONAL TEAMS TICK? Shirley Moreman University of Portsmouth Hot Topics 23 rd May 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT MAKES INTERNATIONAL TEAMS TICK? Shirley Moreman University of Portsmouth Hot Topics 23 rd May 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT MAKES INTERNATIONAL TEAMS TICK? Shirley Moreman University of Portsmouth Hot Topics 23 rd May 2007

2 Research Background Multinational company –40,000 employees –80 plants –30 countries European teams –Business process standardisation –Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish team members Team Effectiveness –Communication –Culture –Location

3 What is a team? NOT an organisation chart NOT a group of people “… a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable” (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993)

4 What’s different about international teams? 85 nationalities "There is to say that every day we enjoy 85 different ways of seeing the world.“ “… the wiring produced in [Hamburg] did not match the plane on the assembly line in Toulouse.”

5 International Team Issues LANGUAGECULTUREORGANISATION LOCATION CHANNELS

6 Communication

7 Language / Culture Variations in language ability Colloquialisms Translatability of words/phrases Manners Directness Cultural stereotypes L C

8 Location / Organisation Virtual vs Co-located Travel / work-life balance issues Everyone has two jobs! L O

9 Communication Channels Face-to-face Video conferencing Telephone C

10 Overcoming the problems Communication –Lessons, interpreters (informal) –Alternative visual methods Break down the barriers –Informal groups –Familiar location Choose the right channel –Face to face / video conferencing –Task dependant Awareness of Team Roles –Choose carefully!

11 Successful International Teams?

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