Analysing Challenges In Managing Global Teams Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Analysing Challenges in Managing Global Teams.

Answer:

Introduction

Tarique & Schuler, (2010) has opined that with increasing competition in the business environment, the business organisations are looking for opportunities of expanding their market share across the domestic boundaries. This has been possible due to the increasing pace of globalisation that has emerged as hot topic in the business world. In this context, Reiche et al., (2016) proposed the fact that the business organisations are moving across the borders for achieving reduced labour costs, technological advantages and economies of scale to achieve competitive advantage. Thus, with expansion of business organisations across the nations, the need for efficiently managing work and expansions cross nationally has increased. This has resulted in forming of teams that consists of multicultural ad geographically dispersed employees, commonly referred to as Global Virtual Teams for executing their strategic projects. As has been put forward by Schuler et al., (2011), virtual teams even though offer several benefits to the organisation on one hand, organisations have to work hard for developing and efficiently managing global teams. The organisations have get involved in developing effective global leaders, engaging the remote employees, forming and developing the global teams, evaluating and monitoring the performance of the distance employees and developing a global mindset.

Thus, taking into consideration the above aspects in context to the increasing need for and trend of virtual teams in the present day globally operating business organisations, the researcher in the present study would strive towards identifying and analysing the challenges that are involved in efficiently managing the global teams.

In the present study, the researcher would focus upon analysing the challenges faced by the business organisations in managing global teams and thus the entire study would aim are achieving the following research objectives:

  • To gain an understanding of the concept of global virtual projects teams.
  • To analyse the challenges involved in efficiently managing global teams.
  • To investigate ways in which challenges can be managed.

Project Scope

The present research study would limit its focus to analysing the challenges that are faced by the management in efficiently managing the global teams. Moreover, it would also strive towards providing ways in which the challenges can be met efficiently to enhance the productivity of the global teams. The researcher would limit the scope of the study mainly to the Australian retail organisation operating globally. This is because; it is not possible on the part of the researcher to personally meet the industry experts from different industries and collect their responses. The country Australia has been selected by the researcher for the study since between the tear 2012 to 2016, Australia has been successful in attracting 139 new entrants to the market thereby accounting for seven per cent of the 2000 international brand entrants in the Asia Pacific (Propertycouncil, 2017). So, this facilitates the researcher with the wide range of options for approaching the retail industry experts to gain an understanding of what challenges they tend to face while managing the global teams. Moreover, taking into consideration the geographic, time and budget constraints, the researcher has limited the sample size to 15 industry experts from four multinational retail organisations operating in Australia.

Nydegger & Nydegger, (2010) has opined in his study that the global economy drives and forces the business organisations to take active participation in a highly volatile and customer driven market for offering high quality products and services to the customers at competitive prices. In this context, Erez et al., (2013) also proposed the fact that globalisation has also necessitated communication with the clients, colleagues and customers across different cultures and languages. Thus, the virtual team working has emerged as a strategy that is used by the business organisations at present to efficiently respond to global demands. Thus, with an increase in the virtual teams, the global mindsets among the managers, leaders and employees is essential to overcome the challenges that are associated with working across the languages and cultures.

It has also been opined by Zander et al., (2012) that the global nature of the economy has increased which in turn has heightened the complexity of the jobs and has emphasised upon enterprise agility that has driven the business organisations to adopt virtual team working into their organisations structures for successfully operating in a changing business environment.

The studies conducted by Anantatmula & Thomas, (2010) has been observed to be putting forward the fact that virtual team working facilitate the business organisation with several potential benefits that include remote working options for attracting and retaining the employees, enhanced decision making in project management that also depends upon the ability of the firm in placing best individuals together in a team irrespective of their geographical locations and achieving closer contact to customers worldwide. However, in this context, Mendenhall, (2012) revealed that in addition to the benefits associated with virtual team working, there are several challenges that are associated with managing virtual team working and they are challenges involved in efficiently monitoring and evaluating virtual team performance. The other challenges can be listed as follows:

Limitations of physical observations

Anantatmula & Thomas, (2010) put forward the fact that managers and leaders of virtual team while monitoring and evaluating their performance faces the limitation of not being able to physically observe the performance and efforts of the employees. They also have no idea regarding how to implement effective methods to measure the productivity of the employees, develop a sense of trust among the team members and efficiently manage them for achieving enhanced productivity (Deresky, 2017). This is mainly because when the managers are not able to observe their subordinates in action, they cannot determine whether the employees are struggling and excelling thereby making it difficult for the managers to render constructive performance feedback and harness the full potential of the virtual team.

As per the studies conducted by Tarique & Schuler, (2010), it has been observed that virtual team members often feel organisational injustice when they compare themselves with the ones who are present in the actual workplace. Thus, the virtual team members feel that being “out of sight” infers being “out of mind” for career advancements and organisational rewards. Moreover, Pinjani & Palvia, (2013) has opined that when the virtual team members perceive that the rewards and benefits awarded are not in alignment with their inputs, their either scale down their efforts to match the rewards and benefits or at time leave the organisation.

Thus, the above discussions it is observed that managers face several challenges while managing global teams which if not managed efficiently can lead to financial loss for the business through reduced team productivity and labour turnover.

Problem Statement

As per the studies conducted by Sarker et al., (2011), it has been observed that global team working has gained importance in the recent times mainly because of the increased globalisation of the organisations and the proliferation of the new network technologies. The global teams are also referred to as virtual teams since they rarely meet in a face to face context and thus face several challenging problems that are generally not associated with the traditional co-located teams. The studies of Crisp & Jarvenpaa, (2013) has put forward the fact that with increasing pace of globalisation and need for the business organisations to expand globally, the businesses are supplanting the traditional concept of project management and it is also because of the pressure on the part of the businesses to reduce the cost of operation and need to address the customer problems, developing products, delivering services and tapping a diverse pool of employees across the organisations. Thus, it can be said that there exist a challenging task on the part of the management of the business organisations to efficiently manage the global teams and this mainly because of the factors that include the differences that exist in their culture, language, business practices and attitudes related to hierarchy and power. So, it becomes important for the managers and the leaders of the global teams to be cognizant of the differences that exist and thus increase the awareness among the team members regarding the differences that exist.

Thus, on the basis of the above aspects, the researcher would analyse the challenges that are faced in managing global teams that would prove to be beneficial for the managers and leaders of the global teams to address the challenges by developing strategies for enhancing the productivity of the global teams.

The analysis of the available literature revealed that there exist substantial amount of literature and peer reviewed articles in context to team working, challenges in team working, cultural issues in team working and human resources management (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 2002). Thus, it can be said that most of the studies are conducted in context to the issues that are faced by the team members while working in a team. However, there exist limited literature in context to challenges and issues that are faced by the managers and the leaders while managing a global team.

Thus, the present study would focus upon incorporating both the existing practical knowledge and the early studies relevant to the area of study to identify the challenges faced in managing global teams and the ways in which the challenges can be addressed.

What are challenges that are encountered by the managers while managing global teams and how can these be met?

  • What is a global virtual team?
  • What are challenges involved in efficiently managing global teams?
  • How the challenges can be managed?

Research Design and Methodology

The researcher would focus upon analysing the challenges that are faced by the managers in the Australian retail sector while managing global teams and so would strive towards collecting both the primary and secondary data for the study.

The sources of secondary data would include the existing literature available from peer reviewed articles and journals published online, online industry reports and previously conducted research studies together with research papers available in the library and the lecture notes (Muijs, 2010).

The primary data on the other hand would be collected by conducting a questionnaire survey targeted towards the industry experts.

In order to suit the purpose and the nature of the undertaken study, the researcher would make an effective use of the performance checklist and time and motion logs as the researcher completed instruments and in context to the subject completed instruments, the researcher would use questionnaires (Sheperis et al., 2016).

Quantitative Data Analysis Process

In order to analyse the data collected with the help of the questionnaire survey targeted towards the industry experts, the researcher would present the collected data with the help of tables, charts and graphs and use MS Excel software to analyse collected data for identifying the challenges faced by the managers in managing global teams (Boone & Boone, 2012).

For conducting the questionnaire survey, the researcher would target 15 to 20 industry experts and the survey would be conducted via e-mail to overcome the distance and budget constraints.

The researcher in order to select the sample for the survey would use non-probabilistic sampling since the survey would be conducted by seeking due permission from the industry experts and sending and receiving the questionnaire via email (Bryman & Bell, 2015).

The questions in the questionnaire would be closed ended questions i.e. a limited number of options would be there to choose from. Moreover, closed ended questions would be selected since they are easy to analyse and the researcher before conducting the actual survey would conduct a pilot survey to ensure that the questions are well framed and easy to understand and desired changes would be made as per the received feedback (Lietz, 2010).

Reliability and Validity of Data

To ensure the validity of the primary data, properly filled in questionnaires would be selected for analysis and questionnaire would be tested through pilot study (Silverman, 2016). For ensuring reliability, the researcher would prevent himself from manipulating the collected data in any form.

To ensure reliability of secondary data, only peer reviewed articles and journals would be selected, study materials provided by mentors would be used and research papers in the library would be used for the study (Neuman, 2016). For validity of secondary data, the researcher would include the studies that would be within the time frame of 2010 to 2017.

The researcher would face budget constraint and time constraint together with geographic proximity while collecting the data for the study (Marshall & Rossman, 2014). Thus, the study would be limited to only 15 to 20 industry experts from the Australian retail industry.

Time Schedule

Activities

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Introduction

Objective Setting for the Research

Data (Primary and Secondary) Collection Plan

Reviewing the Literature

Research Methodology Development

Primary Data Collection

Interpreting and Analyzing the Primary Data

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

From the above aspects, it can be stated that the research study would be based upon both the primary and secondary data for identifying the challenges faced by managers in managing global teams.

References

Anantatmula, V., & Thomas, M. (2010). Managing global projects: A structured approach for better performance. Project Management Journal, 41(2), 60-72.

Bartlett, C. & Ghoshal, S. (2002). Managing Across Borders: The Transnational Solution. Boston: Harvard Business School Press

Boone, H. N., & Boone, D. A. (2012). Analyzing likert data. Journal of extension, 50(2), 1-5.

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Crisp, C. B., & Jarvenpaa, S. L. (2013). Swift trust in global virtual teams. Journal of Personnel Psychology.

Deresky, H. (2017). International management: Managing across borders and cultures. Pearson Education India.

Erez, M., Lisak, A., Harush, R., Glikson, E., Nouri, R., & Shokef, E. (2013). Going global: Developing management students' cultural intelligence and global identity in culturally diverse virtual teams. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12(3), 330-355.

Lietz, P. (2010). Research into questionnaire design. International Journal of Market Research, 52(2), 249-272.

Marshall, C., & Rossman, G. B. (2014). Designing qualitative research. Sage publications.

Mendenhall, M. E. (Ed.). (2012). Global leadership: Research, practice, and development. Routledge.

Muijs, D. (2010). Doing quantitative research in education with SPSS. Sage.

Neuman, W. L. (2016). Understanding research. Pearson.

Nydegger, R., & Nydegger, L. (2010). Challenges in managing virtual teams. Journal of Business & Economics Research (JBER), 8(3).

Pinjani, P., & Palvia, P. (2013). Trust and knowledge sharing in diverse global virtual teams. Information & Management, 50(4), 144-153.

Propertycouncil. (2017). Australian market attracts international retailers. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Sep. 2017].

Reiche, B. S., Mendenhall, M. E., & Stahl, G. K. (Eds.). (2016). Readings and cases in international human resource management. Taylor & Francis.

Sarker, S., Ahuja, M., Sarker, S., & Kirkeby, S. (2011). The role of communication and trust in global virtual teams: A social network perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems, 28(1), 273-310.

Schuler, R. S., Jackson, S. E., & Tarique, I. (2011). Global talent management and global talent challenges: Strategic opportunities for IHRM. Journal of World Business, 46(4), 506-516.

Sheperis, C. J., Young, J. S., & Daniels, M. H. (2016). Counseling research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Pearson.

Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative research. Sage.

Tarique, I., & Schuler, R. S. (2010). Global talent management: Literature review, integrative framework, and suggestions for further research. Journal of world business, 45(2), 122-133.

Tarique, I., & Schuler, R. S. (2010). Global talent management: Literature review, integrative framework, and suggestions for further research. Journal of world business, 45(2), 122-133.

Zander, L., Mockaitis, A. I., & Butler, C. L. (2012). Leading global teams. Journal of World Business, 47(4), 592-603.

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