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Leadership Lessons from Managing Multinational Project Teams.pdf

Leadership Lessons from Managing Multinational Project Teams.pdf

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Leadership Lessons from Managing Multinational Project Teams Nader Asgary * and Hans Thamhain Bentley University, 175 Forest Street Waltham, MA 02452, 781-891-2784, USA * [email protected] Received 1 February 2015 Accepted 11 May 2015 Published 23 November 2015 The challenges of managing culturally diverse and globally dispersed project teams are exa- mined in a ¯eld study of multinational product developments. Our objectives are to improve the understanding of the: (i) dynamics and interaction of culturally diverse project teams and (ii) in°uences of managerial leadership on performance. Special focus is on complex, technology- based, geographically dispersed project environments. The ¯ndings provide insight into the business processes, organizational conditions and managerial leadership style most conducive to high team performance in complex and culturally diverse project environments. The paper suggests a framework for assessing leadership e®ec- tiveness and makes recommendations for building high-performance multinational project teams. Keywords : Global project management; team leadership; cultural diversity; technology; multinational; networked; virtual enterprise. 1. Introduction \Boeing wanted to revolutionize the airplane business using a modular approach for its 787 Dreamliner that involved large-scale collaboration with numerous partners and suppliers around the globe. But the company went too far in its outsourcing, and the aircraft has been plagued by problems. Originally planned to enter service in 2008, the project is now more than three years behind schedule and the delays could cost the ¯rm billions." The issues re°ected in this newswire [Deckstein (2011)] are typical for the challenges and opportunities that companies face in today's globally connected business world. Pressures for working quicker, cheaper and smarter have increasingly led to searches for the best and most ¯tting resources across the globe [ Stringer ( 2000 )]. With this paradigm shift, criteria for business success are also changing. Advances in communications and technology enable companies to net- work their businesses across the globe by taking advantage of the best-¯tting resources. These economic networks have altered the competitive landscape, fun- damentally changing and continuously rede¯ning the rules for success. Especially in the area of product development, few companies can accomplish all of their design International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management Vol. 13, No. 2 (2016) 1650007 (17 pages) # . c World Scienti¯c Publishing Company DOI: 10.1142/S0219877016500073 1650007-1 Int. J. Innovation Technol. Management 2016.13. Downloaded from www.worldscientific.com by UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL on 02/24/18. For personal use only.
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and development work in-house. They try to leverage their resources and accelerate their schedules by forming alliances, consortia and partnerships with other ¯rms, universities and government agencies. They sign accord ranges from simple coop- erative agreements to \ open innovation ", a concept of scouting for new product and service ideas. Other companies, such as American Express, General Motors, IBM,
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