The Cultural Challenges of Managing Global Project Teams: A Study of Brazilian Multinationals

Ivete Rodrigues, Roberto Sbragia

Abstract


The internationalization of Brazilian companies brings a new reality: the need for implementation of global projects that bring, in turn, the challenge of managing multicultural teams. Since this is a recent phenomenon with little theoretical development, this study sought to understand the relationships between cultural characteristics and management teams of global projects in Brazilian multinationals. To carry this discussion forward, we studied six cases of Brazilian multinational companies, with the aim of deepening the understanding of the management of global teams, involving the planning, deployment, development and management of human resources. Among the projects studied, it was found that there is very little concern with the specific issue of multiculturalism and little inter-cultural incentive to the development of team members, which ends up hindering the construction of a global mindset, important for the Brazilian multinational companies to perform successfully abroad. Faced with this situation, each of the managerial processes mentioned were presented with a number of actions to be undertaken by the project manager in three different dimensions: the project itself, the organization and the global environment. The work contributes, thus, to enable Brazilian multinational companies to manage their global teams in order to maximize the advantages of global teams, such as increased creativity and innovative capacity, but avoid the problems that multiculturalism can bring, ranging from conflicts between people to project failure.

Keywords


project management, global projects, business internationalization, culture, inter-cultural competence.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242013000300004



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