Professor Julia Bear
Feb 28th, 2015
Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, Inc.
When one of Sun Microsystems (a multinational technology company) accounts HS Holdings, had a system outage, HS Holdings did not get Greg James’s team’s (the team was charge of HS holding’s technology support) response in two hours. Since HS Holdings is a banking company, two hours of system outage meant significant damage to the company, not mentioning the large amount of furious customers. So HS Holdings brought the case to Sun Microsystems higher management and threatened a lawsuit. As global manager, Greg James’ teams scattered across India, France, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and US. It spent James some time to figure out the problem and he realized deeper problems during his teams, including lack of interaction, dissatisfaction of unequal compensation, fairness etc. All the problems were working together and caused the HS holdings “dropping ball” incident. To my point of view, above problems could be contributed to two root causes, which are lack of group development and ignorance of diversification. Although advantage of group working is obviously, especially on complex or multiple task solving, it is also much harder for company to set up effective teams. Because team members have different motivation and background, it is time-consuming to gather them and achieve same goal. That is why it is critical for company to have group development and build sound relationship between group members. To clarify, there is very useful theory, Tuckman’s five-stage model of group development. The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing-Adjourning model of group development was considered necessary and inevitable for the team to grow, to conquer challenges, to resolve problems, to get solutions and to deliver results. If team members go through these five stages, their cohesiveness increase, with better performance....
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