The Performance of Global Business Teams within Multinational Corporations: The Test of an Intervening Process Model
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Global business teams are a critical component of the strategic management process of multinational corporations. In the context of this dissertation, they are defined as teams of managers who are responsible for a business or a function across several countries.
Given their multi-country charter, national diversity, and geographical dispersion, there are major questions as to the drivers of the performance of global business teams. Building on the growing literature, I propose an intervening process model of the performance of global business teams in relation to the following research question:
In the context of global business teams, how do composition, governance, and organizational context affect: (a) team identity, (b) team cognitive comprehensiveness, and (c) team performance?
The model links the variables of national diversity and geographical dispersion to the performance of global business teams through the mediating variables of team identity and team cognitive comprehensiveness. In addition, organizational policies and team governance are posited to moderate the relationships between team composition and emergent processes.
The model is tested using a field data set of global business teams. By and large, the empirical results provide little support for the hypotheses. In particular, no effect is found, direct or indirect, of composition on emergent processes and team performance. In addition, there is only limited support for the moderating influence of team governance.
However, several governance variables have a direct effect on team identity and team cognitive comprehensiveness. As a result, a post hoc model of the effect of team governance on the process and performance of global business teams is proposed and tested.
The results are broadly supportive. Specifically, team-based rewards have a significant and positive impact on the performance of global business teams through the mediating variables of team identity and team cognitive comprehensiveness. The frequency of face-to-face meetings has an indirect effect through team identity. Finally, geographical dispersion moderates the relationship of team-based rewards and frequency of e-mail communication with team cognitive comprehensiveness.