Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2010


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Project Management in Engineering and Technology

Course Number

ETM 545/645


Virtual work teams -- Management, Virtual work teams -- Decision making, Technology -- Management, Project management, Globalization


Globalization is a phenomena occurring in nearly all industries and is redefining some of the traditional problems faced by a project manager. The difference in location, time, culture, language and type of organization has a huge impact on how a team interacts and functions within itself. This report examines problems associated with cross-functional teams, communication, culture and conflict commonly experienced by global teams. While others have researched this topic numerous times in the past, the authors observed that due to the rapid pace in which technology is changing, the dimensions are constantly evolving.

The findings show that communication tools while improving have yet to replace the value gained from a face-to-face meeting regardless of whether a language barrier exists. Culture differences, while a sensitive area, can often bring different energies to the team and stem creativity. In each one of these areas, conflict is present and global project managers need to understand the conflict in order to effectively cultivate a beneficial outcome for the project. Interviews of global project managers were conducted to receive expert opinions as reinforcement to the findings.

Globalization may not have reached its peak as countries from places such as Africa or South America attempt to entice companies to spread into their market. Similar to new technology, these different cultures and locations will bring new issues to the table and present new problems. All of these factors point to the need for good project manager awareness and quality training programs to help facilitate successfully global team interaction.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

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