تیم های پیشرو جهانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4606||2012||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 47, Issue 4, October 2012, Pages 592–603
Global teams that are characterized by national, cultural and linguistic heterogeneity and operate in a globally dispersed virtual environment are becoming an established form of organizing work in multinational organizations. As global team leadership research is rather limited, we review the literature on leading multicultural and virtual teams in a global context, focusing on leadership competencies, styles, strategies and modes. We also examine the emergent concepts of biculturalism, global mindset and cultural intelligence with respect to team leaders. Our aim is to add to our knowledge of leading global teams, highlight recent trends and suggest directions for future research. Three themes for global team leadership emerged: leaders as boundary spanners, bridge makers and blenders; people-oriented leadership; and leveraging diversity. We discuss implications for research and practice.
As organizations become more diverse and ever new forms of organizing emerge, working in global teams is fast becoming the rule rather than the exception. Multinational teams of all shapes and sizes have been called the ‘heart’ of globalization (Snow, Snell, Canney Davision, & Hambrick, 1996) and are routinely used to cope with our increasingly competitive, complex and culturally diverse 21st century world (DiStefano and Maznevski, 2000 and Ravlin et al., 2000). In the midst of technological advances of the last decade, global virtual teams, defined as nationally, geographically, and culturally diverse groups that communicate almost exclusively through electronic media (Jarvenpaa & Leidner, 1999), rose to the fore of organizational innovations (Townsend, DeMarie, & Hendrickson, 1998). Team members work across temporal and spatial boundaries, most often in the absence of face-to-face interaction, to coordinate their activities toward the attainment of common goals from different locations around the globe. Global virtual teams and collocated teams came to be viewed as end poles on a continuum with most global teams ending up somewhere in between based on their degree of face-to-face interaction (Kirkman, Rosen, Tesluk, & Gibson, 2004). Yet, it seems that these new organizational forms are surfacing more quickly than scholars are able to study them; research on global and virtual team leadership, in particular, is lagging behind (Malhotra et al., 2007 and Zigurs, 2002). It is our overall objective to increase the knowledge about leading global teams. Global teams, as defined by Maloney and Zellmer-Bruhn (2006), differ from other teams on the following two characteristics: (1) a globally dispersed work environment, and (2) heterogeneity on multiple dimensions. We have chosen to focus specifically on national cultural heterogeneity, a salient characteristic of global teams, as nationality has been found to override other demographic and tenure-based categorizations in such teams (Butler, 2006 and Earley and Mosakowski, 2000) and with respect to leadership (Zander & Romani, 2004). Our knowledge about leading global teams is still limited (Davis and Bryant, 2003 and Joshi and Lazarova, 2005), but since teams are multicultural in composition and virtual in action they stand at the crossroads of two literature streams – multicultural team research and virtual team research (Steers, Sanchez-Runde, & Nardon, 2010). There is growing attention devoted to studying virtual teams, and although progress has been made with respect to comparing collocated and virtual teams, the literature does not to any large extent distinguish between single and multi-country types of virtual teams. Much of the work is still conceptual or purely practitioner oriented. There is a limited number of empirical studies on leading virtual teams in general (Malhotra et al., 2007 and Zigurs, 2002), and fewer still that are cross-cultural (Davis and Bryant, 2003 and Joshi and Lazarova, 2005). With regard to research on multicultural teams, we find that the accumulation of knowledge on the processes and outcomes of multicultural teams is prolific (Stahl, Maznevski, Voigt, & Jonsen, 2010). The literature about leading multicultural teams is less extensive (Zander & Butler, 2010), but it is expanding as is our knowledge about leading virtual teams. We will demonstrate this when we discuss leadership competences, styles, strategies and modes as well as recent cultural research about the team leader such as biculturalism, global mindsets and cultural intelligence. In this article, we aim to identify key emerging themes and directions in which global team leadership is heading and provide some suggestions for future research. Our review of the trends will center on the issues that have emerged in recent years. We will first turn to the literature on virtual teams for an understanding of leading in a virtual context, then to the literature on multicultural teams for an insight into multicultural team leadership and finally to recent culture research to add to our knowledge of global team leaders. In contrast to the more common practice of examining leadership from only the leaders’ perspective, it is our ambition to incorporate both team leaders’ and members’ perspectives for a more holistic and complex picture of global team leadership. Our review results in three themes for global team leadership: global leaders as boundary spanners, bridge makers and blenders; people-oriented leadership in global teams; and leveraging global team diversity. We thus ground our ideas for a future research agenda on leading global teams in emerging cutting-edge work before concluding with some reflections and managerial implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our review has shown that, surprisingly, given the rise of global teams, both multicultural team and global virtual leadership remain under-researched areas. The combination of multinational, multilinguistic and multicultural team dimensions, and a geographically dispersed virtual context, lead to teams of a different kind, not just of a different degree, as team complexities and dynamics are not just amplified, but new leadership challenges are also introduced. This places new demands on global team leadership and global team leaders. Several compelling research trends and questions for future research emerged in our literature review, all firmly grounded in multicultural and virtual team leadership research and recent work on biculturalism, which deliberately pose questions regarding leadership and leaders of global teams. We identified and discussed three emerging research themes in more detail. The first theme is that of global leaders as boundary spanners, bridge makers, and blenders. The second theme concerns people-oriented leadership in global teams, and the third theme addresses leveraging global team diversity. We were surprised that the râison d’étre of a global team leader did not receive any explicit in-depth attention. What will change when a multicultural leader has to work virtually, and correspondingly when a virtual team leader faces a multicultural team? Hajro and Pudelko (2010) found that the multicultural team leaders they studied ranked virtual team leadership at the bottom of the list of team leader competences. Only a little more than half of the global virtual leaders (and only 5% of the team members) viewed managing cultural diversity as important in Joshi's and Lazarova's (2005) study. Is this an example of not understanding the challenges and implications for others’ daily work until we experience them ourselves, or is it an indication of something else? Popular belief has it that younger generations, computer and internet savvy from an early age, do not feel as inhibited when communicating electronically as older generations do. If this is so, then will members of the younger generation be better, more effective and efficient, global team leaders? Are the younger generations also possibly short-circuiting cultural communication misunderstandings using text messaging abbreviations and an emerging internet communication protocol; will the need for team leaders to boundary span, bridge make and blend decrease or possibly diminish in the future? Or will they find that socializing virtually is quite different from leading work virtually? Will the simplified accessibility of electronic media for virtual face-to-face interaction lead to a changed role for the team leader; an increased use of alternative team leadership modes; or possibly diminish the need for a single team leader altogether? Additionally, electronic advancements may be global in use and outreach, but this does not necessarily mean that they are globally accessible to all, or that internet skills or experience with electronic platforms are uniformly distributed, not even among the younger generations. Cultural values, expectations and preferences may also enhance, or inhibit, contemporary technology-driven communication. At the same time we must remember that leadership preferences may change at a variable or slower rate and differ across countries and cultures, leaving global team leaders with interpersonal challenges and opportunities to be negotiated and leveraged, while adapting to and learning from fast-paced electronic advancements. Globalization and changes in attitudes also contribute to the rising number of born biculturals, e.g., in 2008 the U.S. Census Bureau projected that by 2050 minorities will become the majority with 54% of the American population being of non-White European origin. Although we cannot predict how many people will demonstrate biculturalism, such changing demographic patterns are a particularly interesting issue to pursue in light of the rapidly accumulating literature on biculturalism. This phenomenon also rekindles the old question of leader traits and characteristics but offers a new prism through which to examine it, by querying whether biculturals possess a specific set of competences which would make them particularly successful as global team leaders. For practitioners our literature review on leading global teams is of immediate and very hands-on use as it highlights emerging themes important for the future. For global team leaders a specific set of leadership roles (i.e., boundary spanners, bridge makers and blenders) stand out together with a set of people-oriented leadership styles (i.e., transformational, empowering and shared leadership) and a focus on team performance in form of leveraging global team diversity. Knowledge about differences between team members’ and team leaders’ leadership expectations is helpful for leaders in terms of understanding team members’ leadership preferences as well as for the decision-makers who select team leaders for their global teams. Here discussions as to the advantages of choosing those who display cultural intelligence, global mindset or who are biculturals demonstrating biculturalism as global team leaders can be most helpful. Vast cross-national differences regarding expectations about leadership and management practices are not a new phenomenon in contemporary multinational organizations. However, some of our findings may pose challenges for human resource managers, for example that team leaders and team members differ as to what they list as most important leadership competences and styles. Mentoring and coaching were important for team members, while empowering and managing diversity came highly ranked on the team leaders’ agenda. A more nuanced understanding of team leaders’ and members’ differing expectations, together with a cultural awareness of differences in leadership preferences across countries, will strengthen team leaders’ ability to overcome the power paradox described in our review. Our review also highlighted that use of different leadership modes, such as paired, rotated or shared leadership, rather than just resorting to the standard single team leader option, could be applied strategically, not just to manage cultural differences but to actually leverage them. This is certainly invaluable for team leaders and global leaders alike. With this article we have contributed to the extant literature on leading global teams. The current state of the field is presented and analyzed; we have outlined where contemporary research is heading, and identified some themes that deserve focused attention in the future. We can easily set an even longer research agenda as our thoughts spin around various combinations of virtual and multicultural team leadership challenges. However, we need to get much closer to the heart of the matter to find out whether there is something more to leading global teams than what we know from leading virtual multicultural teams today, as we believe that work in multinational organizations will not only be organized in and around global teams, but that global teams could actually become the new fluid global firms of tomorrow.