Assignment: Multicultural Virtual Work Teams


You work for Mike, a global company that specializes in manufacturing and selling athletic shoes for both competition athletes and casual users. You are called into your supervisor’s office where he tells you that you have been assigned to be the leader of a virtual team. The team has been tasked with assessing the feasibility of the company manufacturing and marketing an inexpensive athletic shoe to be sold in Brazil. You will be responsible for getting the team up and running, maintaining open and clear lines of communications, and ultimately launching the product if it is found to be feasible.

Your supervisor hands you a list of the team members—twelve of them. Three work in the United States (two in Beaverton, Oregon, and one in New York City). Two work in England, two in China, two in India, and three in Brazil. All are Mike employees, and all were born in the country in which they work. All speak English, though some speak it better than others.

Your Task

Since you are team’s leader, your supervisor has asked you to meet with the members and then prepare a written report that addresses the following:

  1. What challenges do you expect the team will face because of its multicultural makeup?
  2. How can you help the team overcome these challenges?
  3. What are the opportunities presented by the multicultural makeup of the team?