Working With a Multicultural Virtual Team

Due to its global presence the idea for a multicultural virtual team to Nike Company is generally good. However there are inherent significant challenges that face global virtual teams. Investigating the challenges faced by multicultural virtual teams, Vinaja found out that these problems include communication breakdowns, possible conflicts among the members, time delays in replies, limited hours of the team work, lack of synergy in multicultural teams and different holidays. Various research sums up the challenges to communication, culture, project management and technology (Vinaja 2003). These are the same challenges that may face Nike multicultural virtual team. Though all of the members of the virtual team speak English Communication breakdown may occur due to the combination of first English speakers and second English speakers. Team members from England may speak with a plain queen’s ascent while Brazilians, Indians and Chinese English may be heavily interrupted by local ascent that sometimes may be disturbing. Language barrier will affect negatively to all of the four stages (forming, storming, norming, performing) of Tuckman’s team development model (Blair)

Due to geographical disparities, the team may suffer from time differences. Setting a convenient hour for the team to telecommute may derail the functioning of the team owing to the different in time zones. Whereas it may be working hours in US, it may be wee hours in china and India. Thus for this team some of the members will be forced to sacrifice for the team to have a common time to interact. The other possible problem is technology barrier. Not all of the team members will have equal access to new communications infrastructure like ISDN and updated software. More so free interaction with outer world is highly sanctioned by some states like china. More problems may arise due to slow computers, incompatible networks and traffic on the network (Mihhailova & Piiriste 2004).

Cultural difference may also have a great overbearing in the functioning of the group. Different cultures have different working methods, decision making practices and way of measuring success. For instance while Americans may be fast in decision making, Asian cultures tend to be slow but sure. Thus borrowing from Tuckman’s team development model, norming stage may experience difficulties in decision making. Furthermore, confrontation of different cultures can lead to misunderstanding between different cultures causing distrust to one another (Mihhailova & Piiriste 2004).beside these challenges, there are also common challenge arising from management of virtual team. A virtual manager of this team will be faced y the daunting task of ensuring that all members interact freely and effectively across all networks.

For multicultural teams to function smoothly, these challenges must be overcome. First of all the members should understand and appreciate each others culture. Appreciating each others culture…

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