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Managing international teams

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  1. Overall presentation of multicultural teamwork
    1. What is a team ?
    2. How organizations are composed
    3. Types of teams
    4. ''Teaming with bright ideas''
  2. How cultural diversity impacts teams
    1. Advantages
    2. Disadvantages
    3. Challenges to intercultural teamwork
    4. Role and power definition
    5. Difficulty to convey one's impressions
    6. Decision making and time management
    7. Stereotypes handicaping the cohesion of the group
    8. Antagonist perceptions of teamwork
    9. Gradual loss of trust in the team
  3. Managing culturally diverse teams
  4. Intercultural management
    1. Akteos : an intercultural management specialist
    2. Other means to encourage intercultural communication

With an ongoing globalization of activities and companies, heterogeneity in companies' workforce has become a reality. Managing diversity has turned into a major challenge for companies' survival. As a matter of fact, large companies can no longer boast their national affiliation as the workplace is gradually turning into a general melting pot of people as well as work practices on a daily basis.

The impact of multiculturalism has evolved through time depending on the type of competitive environment and the firm's overall strategy. Today, no major firm operates in purely domestic environments.

Intercultural management is based on the analysis of cultural differences. These terms can only make sense once the concept of culture has been defined and cultural areas are set up, so as to allow comparison. Nevertheless, the word culture in itself refers to a lot of different meanings, hundreds as a matter of fact. However, the anthropologists Kroeber and Kluckohn offered one of the most comprehensive and generally accepted definition:
Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiment in artefacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other, as conditioning elements of future action.

Moreover the concept of cross-cultural management is another core concept because it not only explains how culture affects people's behaviors around the world (especially in business), but also explains how these differences can be dealt with. It has developed useful tools for entreprises which wish to prepare themselves adequately to the challenges of the 21st century.

[...] Conclusion Over the past decades, international business structures have radically transformed. Companies have become more and more multicultural and multilingual, with different social and cultural characteristics. Companies tend to hire employees from various countries and backgrounds. That is why firms have to cope with those differences in as much as employees have to work together within the same group, collaborate, and follow the same objectives. Thereby, companies now concentrate on intercultural management and it has become an essential strategy in business interactions. [...]

[...] The Four Phases: In context of globalization and building more international teams, one important issue has appeared - the fact that teams have to take up new diverse challenges. There is no sole factor that influences group behaviors and the accrual of a group cohesion. Among other factors, teams can have trouble with languages, or have problems relative to the integration of different nationalities. Moreover, employees have to consider sensibility to historical profiles of the countries people come from. One has to regard the process of phases allowing a group developing a real team. [...]

[...] Working efficiently with international teams is one of the issues which Akteos focuses on in the ?international training programmes?. For instance, the training for ?developping intercultural abilities? is one of the international training programmes organized by Akteos. To understand better how training is organized, one may look at the day programmes. In the first part, the participants have to introduce themselves and explain their motivations. The consultant introduces herself/himself too. The program and the objectives of the day are then clearly set up. [...]

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