service quality

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede Pages: 71 (11066 words) Published: March 17, 2014
CONFLICTS AND MULTICULTURAL
TEAM
Developing competencies for managers

LAHTI UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED
SCIENCES
Degree Programme in
International Business
Bachelor’s Thesis
Spring 2013
Nguyen, Thanh Tung

Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Degree Programme in International Business
NGUYEN, THANH TUNG:

Multicultural team and conflicts
Developing competencies for managers

Bachelor’s Thesis in International Business, 54 pages, 4 pages of appendices Spring 2013
ABSTRACT

This thesis aims to define multicultural team and conflicts and identify the essential competencies for a manager of multicultural teams. It is argued that a manager of a multicultural team should possess more skills and competencies than those who manage homogeneous groups. As a result, a manager of a multicultural team must be able to understand culturally diverse backgrounds, manage conflicts constructively, and comprehend different strategies to handle sensitive situations. The research begins by reviewing literature on culture, team performance and conflict. A survey was performed on 67 individuals from various cultural backgrounds, to analyze their attitudes towards multicultural teams and their managers. A second questionnaire was conducted on 18 managers from an international company in Vietnam to collect more insightful opinions about managing multicultural teams. From both perspectives of the employees and the managers, different strengths and the weaknesses of nowaday managers were examined and explained carefully. Some findings are in accordance with theories and some show different interesting opinions experienced pragmatically by the respondents. Eventually, a sucessful competency model was created by the author to combine all the results obtained from the empirical reseach and the theoretical literatures. The components of the model consist of different competencies and skills concerning cultural knowledge, conflict management, and team performance.

Key words: Multicultural team, culture, conflict, manager

CONTENTS
1

1

1.1

Background

1

1.2

Purpose and Objectives

1

1.3

Structure

2

1.4

Research methods

3

1.5
2

INTRODUCTION

Limitations

4
5

2.1

Geert Hofstede

5

2.2

Fons Trompenaars

6

2.3

Edward T.Hall

9

2.4
3

CULTURE

House and Colleagues’ GLOBE Cultural Framework

10
11

3.1

Multicultural team performance

11

3.2

Factors that influence multiculral team effectiveness

12

3.3

Challenges

15

3.4
4

MULTICULTURAL TEAM

Strategies

17

Definition of conflict

19

4.2

Impacts of cultural dimensions on team conflict

19

4.3

Individual styles of addressing conflicts

21

4.4

Approaches to conflict resolution

22

ANALYSIS OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH

25

5.1

Survey for international business students

25

5.1.1

Character and arrangement of the survey

25

5.1.2

Personal background

25

5.1.3

Work attitudes toward conflict and multicultural team

28

5.1.4

Attitudes toward managers

33

5.2

Questionnaire for managers of KPMG Vietnam

38

5.2.1
6

19

4.1

5

CONFLICT

Analysis

38

CONCLUSION

41

REFERENCES

44

APPENDICES

46

LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE 1.Thesis structure

2

FIGURE 2.Multicultural team effectiveness model (Claire Halverson 2008, 10) 13 FIGURE 3.Conflict management methods (Thomas 1976)

21

FIGURE 4. Gender distribution

25

FIGURE 5. Age distribution

26

FIGURE 6.Nationality distribution

26

FIGURE 7.Work experience

27

FIGURE 8.Most popular countries where team members are from

28

FIGURE 9.Multicultural team vs homogeneous team

28

FIGURE 10. Understanding other cultures is important in multicultural team

29

FIGURE 11. Difficulties in working with people from different cultures

29

FIGURE 12. Responsibility when working in multicultural team...

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http://www.geerthofstede.nl/. (2013).
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De Drue & Weingart. (2003). Task versus relationship conflict, team, and team
member satisfaction
Druskat, V. W. (2001). Building the emotional intelligence of groups. Harvard
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Hall, E. (1976). Beyond Culture. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
Hofstede, G. (1983). The cultural relativity of organizational practices and
theories.
Hofstede, G. (2005). In G. Hofstede, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the
Mind
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