IBM's Multicultural Multinational Teams

Topics: Team, The A-Team, Project team Pages: 9 (2033 words) Published: April 28, 2014

IBM's Multicultural Multinational Teams
South University Online

Today's work environment is more complex than it has ever been. With the number of global companies increasing and the competition that has resulted from this business practice, there has been tremendous demand for organizations to improve their workforce practices. The pressures of organizations to be globally competitive has led to drastic changes in the way that business work practices are utilized. Organizations had to develop strategies that increased efficiency, productivity, and also profitability. The resulting changes has shifted the work environment from an individualistic nature to more of a team oriented structure. The complexity and makeup of some projects makes it difficult for an individual to complete designated tasks effectively. As a result, organizations will develop teams of people with complementary abilities which allows for the combining of knowledge and experience to accomplish widespread objectives. Work teams can consist of not only domestic teams, but also of teams that are multicultural and multinational. Multinational, multicultural teams have to be innovative and productive in order to overcome the intense competition that exists in today's business environment. If you calculate the person-hours devoted to IBM's team projects, they amount to more than 180,000 hours of management time each year. Do you think this is a wise investment of IBM's human resources? Why or why not? The amount of hours IBM devotes to management time for team projects is an excellent idea along with being a wise investment that has proven to various organizations how well work teams can transform an organization for the better. A multicultural and multinational team can offer a company tremendous benefits, however there are some major obstacles that need to be overcome. Our text states that "research on global considerations in the use of teams is just

beginning, but three areas are particularly worth mentioning: the extent of teamwork, self-managed teams, and team cultural diversity"(Robbins; S. & Judge, T. 2010, p.331). The objective of a multicultural and multinational high performance work team would be to: deliver the highest quality product possible, provide extraordinary service, along with achieving the highest efficiency, productivity, and profitability. (South University Online, 2014, Work Teams, para.2). The conflicts and challenges of dealing daily with individuals from different nationalities and cultures are numerous. These include the ability to understand, appreciate, and respect ethnic diversity, different cultures, and individual personalities. An organization can reap tremendous benefits from an organizational team that overcomes these obstacles. IBM is an example of an organization that invested a lot of time and resources into forming successful multinational, multicultural teams. Why do you think IBM's culture changed from formal, stable, and individualistic to informal, impermanent, and team oriented? IBM was a company that saw the benefits of progressing from a individualistic organization into a team oriented organization. The IBM culture changed in 1993 when Louis Gerstner was named CEO. He was the first executive of IBM that had not been promoted from within the organization, and his goal was to transform IBM into a more streamlined corporation which led to improved efficiency, productivity, and profitability (IBM, 2014, para.4) Mr. Gerstner realized that he had to take dramatic action in order to keep IBM a major player and be globally competitive in an ever changing market. He realized that IBM at the time was an individualistic organization, where employees and departments worked solely by themselves. A majority of

IBM's business was global, so IBM needed to increase awareness about the company and the products they offered. What better way to increase the...

References: Robbins, S. and Judge, T. (2011). Organizational Behavior, 14th Edition [Vital Source digital version]. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Retrieved from:
South University Online. (2014). MGT3002 S01:Organizational Behavior Week 3 Work Teams Retrieved from
IBM. (2014). Chronological History of IBM 1990s, Retrieved 4/22/2014 from:
University of Oregon Teaching Effectiveness Program, (2014) Managing Groups, Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development. Retrieved 4/22/2014 from:
Moon, D., (2012). Multicultural Teams: Where Culture, Leadership, Decision Making, and Communication Connect Retrieved 4/22/2014 from:
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