Groups and Teams

In the contemporary business environment group and team work is extremely important because the team increases consistently the efficiency of the organizational performance and accelerates the development of the organization. At the same time, the contemporary group and team work is affected by the process of globalization which changes consistently the organizational culture.

Originally, group and team work implies the coordination of work of employees and the cooperation of employees to the extent that they work as a team. In such a way, each member of the team performs specific functions and can support other members of the team, if necessary, or get their support. Obviously, the creation of a team implies a perfect mutual understanding of all members of the teams. Otherwise, they will be unable to work efficiently.

This is exactly where globalization raises the major problem ”“ the problem of cultural barriers which can become unsurpassable for members of the team. Today, many organizations operate worldwide. Therefore, they form multinational and multicultural teams. Such teams differ consistently from traditional teams and groups because members of multicultural group have a different background. Often they speak different language and use English as a vehicle language, while their traditions and management style can differ dramatically. All these differences result in the inability of employees to organize an effective group work because they do not understand each other and they cannot support each adequately.

In addition, the globalization contributes to the growing gap between developed and developing countries (Shah, 2007)), which often make professionals from developing countries feel inferior to professionals from developed countries. In such a situation, the development of positive interpersonal relationships between members of a team or group is practically impossible because, a priori, members of a team or group feel they are unequal. The problem can be deteriorated by the cultural differences because the mentality and traditions of different ethnic groups can vary consistently. For instance, Asian employees can hardly accept western individualism and they are more likely to work for the benefits of the entire team rather than for their own benefits, while western employees are more likely to view a team as a tool to achieve an individual success. As a result, when representatives of such different cultures start working in one and the same group, they can hardly perform effectively because some of them are focused on individual achievements and career opportunities, while others are focused on interests and needs of the group.

Furthermore, globalization raises a number of ethic issues since it evokes inequality and accelerates the brain drain from developing countries into developed ones since the elimination of barriers between countries and growing international cooperation in economic, technological, scientific and other fields lead to the domination of large multinational corporations, which attempt to employ the best specialists (Shah, 2007). As a result, many gifted specialists from developing countries move to headquarters of large multinational corporations which are located in developed countries, where they actually have to learn to work in a team with local specialists.

Thus, the process of globalization has influenced substantially group and team work. Today, groups and teams need to work in a multicultural environment that may raise a number of problems and barriers. Hence, companies need to develop flexible corporate culture to facilitate adaptation of people with different cultural background to work in a team.

Leave a Reply