Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2018


Charles Weber

Course Title

Team Building and Communication

Course Number

EMGT 522/622


Intercultural communication -- Effect on teams in the workplace, Teams in the workplace -- Management, Communication in organizations


The trend in today’s corporate workforce continues to move towards becoming more culturally diverse; while beneficial, to maintain competitive edge this element also increases functional challenges between working group members. In order to achieve a high performing team, it is imperative management understands the cultural and lingual differences among the individual members, and develop practices that diminish these challenges. Workforce diversity has been identified as being able to add value to the overall outcome; however, success ultimately depends on the team’s ability to interact culturally, communicate effectively, and understand the mannerisms unique to each team member’s individual culture.

Examining Geert Hofstede’s work; a model that quantitatively measures cultural differences, the authors start their discussion on factors that lead to cultural norms and highlight, through management practices, ways to minimize challenges and increase interaction in the team environment. Once members understand the individual nuances of culture midst their counterparts, the team can focus on an equally important aspect to becoming a high performing team; effective communicating.

Next, the authors move the analysis to address the hurdles centered around team member’s linguistical challenges. This facet too presents a set of unique challenges; which, if not addressed properly, can lead to poor performance and a lack of trust among the group. Finally, the authors conclude by identifying the unique nonverbal communication norms, among cultures, which too can adversely affect a team’s performance. This paper looks to synthesize the literature which highlights these three aspects of communication in the team environment.


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