Value Creation through Heterogeneous Cultural Team-Based Environments: A Multi-Lens UK Perspective

Value Creation through Heterogeneous Cultural Team-Based Environments: A Multi-Lens UK Perspective

Wilson Ozuem (University of Hertfordshire, UK & Regents University, UK) and Nicole Sarsby (University of Wales, UK)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6006-9.ch007
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Abstract

Previous research has documented cultural heterogeneity within project teams, but still attention mainly centres on project managers who transfer internationally to manage teams of a different culture from their own, or more recently from those who manage virtual teams. Existing literature does not discuss the readiness to manage culturally diverse teams as a result of large-scale EU migration and wider immigration in the UK projectised environments. The objectives of this contribution are: 1) to investigate the factors that influence effective value creation in heterogeneous cultural environments, in both inter- and intra-organisational learning and knowledge creation in the UK project team-based environments, and 2) to illuminate issues of value creation in heterogeneous cultural environments in both public and private team-based project environments. This chapter adds to extant studies of organisational diversity and innovation by elucidating the overwhelming key aspects of cultural heterogeneity and thus explains how challenging it is to affect change in the prevailing praxis, ideas, and values in team-based management.
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Introduction

The work of Geert Hofstede in the 1980s looking at the differences between cultures brought forth intense focus on the value and impact of culture within business, especially with the international growth of many Western organisations. This early work predominantly laid out the aspects of difference needed for consideration rather than forging a workable framework for business leaders. Iles (1995) suggests that past studies reveal a multidimensional conceptualisation of assumptions and theoretical perspectives with limited effectiveness with developing commonly accepted practices in culturally diverse contexts. Iles calls for more theoretically and empirically grounded research to establish how culturally diverse teams improve or hamper organisational practices.

Conversely, there is also a plethora of significant research that states that culturally heterogeneous teams can be highly functioning and successful (McGuire et al., 2002; Kirkman & Shapiro 2005; Mitchell & Boyle 2008). However, there continues to be limited understanding on how heterogeneous cultural diversity creates value in the UK projectised environments. Some scholars have outlined how value creation could be generated through novel deployment of resources, especially through new ways of exchanging and combining resources (Tsai & Ghosal, 1998; Vargo & Lusch, 2008; Vargo, Maglio, & Akaka 2008; Vargo & Lusch, 2005). In the context of a projectised environment, value is created collaboratively through the interactive configuration of mutual understanding of common objectives, especially understanding that value is rooted and embedded in a core business case, where individuals involved could equally facilitate the smooth running of the project. Such collective orientation constitutes the vision of everyone involved, regardless of their cultural backgrounds. The objectives of this contribution are: 1) to investigate the factors that influence effective value creation in heterogeneous cultural environments, in both inter- and intra-organisational learning and knowledge creation in the UK project team-based environments, and 2) to illuminate issues of value creation in heterogeneous cultural environments in both public and private team-based project environments.

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