Multiple time zones, language barriers and cultural divides can make international collaboration a challenge. Just ask those who were betting on the DaimlerChrysler megamerger. The union ultimately failed, with many pointing fingers at the cultural discord between the two companies.
How can companies cultivate effective collaboration across cultural divides? Yih-Teen Lee of IESE and Minna Paunova of Copenhagen Business School look to the self-managed multicultural team. This working unit is made up of people from different cultures who are responsible for executing a team task. Especially when engaging with knowledge work, these teams’ larger collective sets of skills and viewpoints foster creativity.