Putting the global in global work: An intercultural lens on the practice of cross-national collaboration

  • Hinds P
  • Liu L
  • Lyon J
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Collaboration across national boundaries has become increasingly prevalent over the last decade, yet the management literature remains remarkably unhelpful in answering questions about what happens when people across nations and cultures work closely together. We review the management litera- ture that reports empirical studies of global work and conclude that few of these studies, despite their explicit focus on globally distributed work,meaningfully examine the intercultural aspects of these collaborations. We assume an intercultural lens to understand what gets lost by not examining the global in global work and conclude that the very process by which workers who reside in different countries confront, explore, and resolve cultural differences begs for more clarity. Further, we conclude that a more contextual and dynamic view of culture is necessary to shed light on these pro- cesses. We use two examples—social networks and technology use—to illus- trate how cultural differences might generate different patterns of behavior, and consider the effect of these potential incompatibilities on global work and workers as they collaborate across national boundaries.

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  • Pamela Hinds

  • Lei Liu

  • Joachim Lyon

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