Intercultural competence as a succes factor of virtual multicultural teams : a case study on the team effectiveness of global HR teams
OppiaineIntercultural Communication (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Intercultural Communication
This study’s main objective is to construct a model of intercultural competence for global virtual teams in order to investigate the influence of intercultural competence on multicultural virtual team effectiveness. This objective was investigated in two ways: Firstly, by reviewing existing models and concepts with the goal of listing contents of intercultural competence that improve the virtual multicultural team effectiveness sustainably. The findings in this section have been that all team members need to have a certain degree of intercultural competence. Intercultural competence is a set of skills, attitudes and knowledge which is developed gradually by experience and will never be complete. In virtual multicultural teams communication via technological channels are relevant as well as the degree of virtuality, i.e. in geography, time and culture. In the empirical part of this study, the goal was to investigate which contents of intercultural competence are of particular importance for the virtual multicultural teamwork in Human Resources in this study’s case. For this, ten interviews were conducted with employees in the field of Human Resources of the international IT company Tieto Oyj. In the qualitative content analysis according to Mayring it was found that soft factors such as motivation, awareness, open-mindedness, trust, cohesion and commitment are of higher value than hard factors, i.e. cultural knowledge. Connecting intercultural competence to virtual multicultural team effectiveness sustainably, a positive gradual correlation has been found. Intercultural competence forms the internal team processes, such as communication, conflict management, cohesion, clarity of roles and goals. By forming a team culture altogether a healthy team climate (trust, cohesion, motivation) is reached which posivitely influences satisfaction and performance, i.e. team effectiveness.
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