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Managing a Global Team

In: Business and Management

Submitted By fakeasmile
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Overview of SUN Microsystems Inc. Sun Microsystems I nc. (SUN) provided companies with complete information technology (IT) solutions that included hardware, software, storage and services. One of Sun ’ s competitive strategies had been to form global teams in order to provide excellent and prompt support to its client at any hour of the day. Greg James is the global manager of SUN located in Santa Clara, USA. H e leads a global team of 45 people composed of members in France, India, the UAE and the US. James ’ team serves Sun’ s enterprise customers in Asia and Europe. 1. Situational Analysis James’ s team faced a big challenge where one of their account, HS Holding has a problem of their entire system went down for two hours. It was a disaster for their online banking business. H S Holding support team had contracted SUN for support but nobody engaged their needs . They were dissatisfied with their customer services and expected prompt response from SUN. H ence, they are seeking a $300K service contract money return to them and threatening a lawsuit because SUN violated their service contract. Through this incident, James realized there are many issues existed among his global teams. 2. Organization and HRM challenges Being a multinational enterprise (MNE) has to face many challenges, just like James ’ team at SUN, they are now facing a challenge in people management . Managing a global team, they need to have a good system or procedures to guide the ir teams in different countries with upda te information. 2.1 Key Issues in existing teams 2.1.1 India James conduct ed weekly conference calls with his entire team of 45 which beg in at 08:00 Pacific Standard Time. Problems arise for teams in India. Refer to the case, Ashok, the Indian manager told James that his team felt as if they were second-class citizens among the larger team. They had few agenda items, their concerns were rev iewed last, a nd other teams always interrupted them. Because of the time zones, the Indian employees had excessively long days from 6:30 to 22:00. As a result, they had little time at home with family. Moreover, Ashok revealed that they were dissatisfied t hey are only conducted in customer maintenance work and other teams get the interesting work in innovation process. Also, the I ndian team was looked down by others who they were incompetent. 2.1.2 France and the US There is a “compensation mismatch” a mong the French and the US teams. The French team complains that they were less pay than the American coworkers by 30%. The American team dissatisfied they had less vacation and more workloads than the French teammates as France had strict labour laws. James had explained to his team that they had to accept the country -based benefits differences but both teams felt dissatisfied. 2.1.3 The UAE The team members feared they would be deemed incompetent because they had consistently missed deadlines. However, this ha ppen not because of their incompetent. In the Middle East, their culture required extensive and time -consuming in building relationship before contracts and commitments could be finalized. Furthermore, race discrimination happens in the UAE team itself, Ahmed and Rahul don’t get along because Ahmed was from Pakistan. 2.1.4 U.S. Team viewed as “Favorites” James spent more time with the U.S team and communicated with them more frequently. The three international teams felt neglected by James and did not have sufficient face-to-face contact with James. Sometimes, they felt they are not participated in decision making. They are just like following an ongoing conversation between James and the US tem. 2.2 Alternative options and considerations The case has pointed ou t that James should spend more face -to-face interactions with his teams in France, the UAE and India by traveling to each site more frequently or reduce face -to-face interaction with everyone including the US team. James also considered multiple all -team meetings throughout the week in order to increase communication across cultural and national boundaries. James was now concerning whether he had managed the team in a right way. The Open Work environment has both positive and negative outcome. Employees can work at anywhere they like and customers can meet the demand at any time. However, James has to find way s to balance the key issues listed above. 3. Recommendation As a global manager, he should deal with uncertainty effectively and efficiently, knowing customers by providing the best personal experience, balancing tensions and a ppreciating diversity. In the HS Holdings incident, we can see that there is not enough and clear procedures for the members at SUN to handle the emergency which definitely make the customer relationship gone worse. And there are many problems are actually existed among the global team s a s well. Here are some recommendations for James to consolidate the customer relationship and manage the conflicts happened among his team. James can seek better policy and procedures for a ddressing clients’ needs which can strengthen the relationship with its customers. James can develop a small team from every existing team to assist him for dealing with the emergency effectively and efficiently. Each team can select a motivated team leader either by their team members or James assigns one of them according to their capability and characteristic. James has

to ensure every team leader pursues common work goals and values and briefs their teams with identified policy and procedures. Also, James should have more interaction with every team leader through email, conference calls, etc. in order to ensure every members of the global team know what is happening in the company. James can re-schedule the meeting time strategically. He can rotate the meeting time every two week or every month, every team has the same chance to have a conference meeting after work, not only the Indian team. This can reduce the dissatisfaction of the Indian team for being unable to s pend enough time with family and the feeling of having a long working day compared with other teams. For the disparities of the vacation and compensation for each team, James should disclose to every team how the budget breakdown structure of the company i s allocated. This makes them understand there is a country -based benefits difference. Key information should be shared among teams before they entered into the company. For example, they can illustrate more clearly how their salary is adjusted by consideri ng many elements such as the living standards of the country itself, the number of working days, the additional benefits provided by their governments, etc. so as to make them feel fair and understand all the work they done are being paid. All teams must feel needed and involved, not only the US team to be seen as “ favorite” team. Every team has the same chance to participate in the innovative process and shares the same duty. James should also spend more time with each team and conduct more face -to-face interaction. By doing so, every member can address their true concerns to James and James knows how to make everyone better off with the best action. Moreover, James can understand the culture difference among the teams and James can also encourage their members to get involve in team building activities.

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