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Team-Based Global Organizations: The Future of Global Organizing

The Future Of Global Organizing

ISBN: 978-1-78560-423-2, eISBN: 978-1-78560-422-5

Publication date: 14 October 2015



We propose team-based organizing as an alternative to more traditional forms of hierarchy-based organizing in global firms.


Advancements in the study of global teams, leadership, process, and outcomes were organized into four themes: (1) openness toward linguistic and value diversity as enhancing team creativity and performance, (2) knowledge sharing in team-based organizations, (3) the significance of social capital for global team leader role success, and (4) shared leadership, satisfaction, and performance links in global virtual teams.


We identify questions at three levels for bringing research on team-based organizing in global organizations forward. At the within-team individual level, we discuss the criticality of process and leadership in teams. At the between-teams group level, we draw attention to that global teams also need to focus on relationships and interactions with other teams within the same global firm, for example, when sharing knowledge. With respect to the across-teams organizational level, we highlight how bringing people together in global teams from different organizational units and cultures creates the potential for experiential individual and team-based learning, while making the firm more flexible and adaptable.

Theoretical implications

The potential of the relatively underexplored idea of global team-based firms as an alternative to hierarchy open up questions for empirical research, and further theorizing about the global firm.

Practical implications

Practitioners can learn about organizational, team, and individual challenges and benefits of global team-based organizing.


A century-old dominant organizational form is challenged when moving away from hierarchy- and hybrid-based forms of organizing toward team-based global organizing of work.




The authors are grateful to Rian Drogendijk and Rob van Tulder for inviting us to contribute to this exciting book project. We would like to extend our appreciation to the audience at the EIBA 2014 conference in Uppsala for interesting and insightful comments. Our thanks also go to the conference reviewers for their encouraging and helpful feedback on our panel submission. Additionally, we would like to thank the International Business group at the Department of Business Studies at Uppsala University for feedback and comments on our ideas about team-based organizing. Finally, special thanks go to Gundula Lϋcke, Don Ferrin, and Frank Dobbin for adding important perspectives to our work on teams as an organizing principle in global organizations.


Zander, L., Butler, C.L., Mockaitis, A.I., Herbert, K., Lauring, J., Mäkelä, K., Paunova, M., Umans, T. and Zettinig, P. (2015), "Team-Based Global Organizations: The Future of Global Organizing", The Future Of Global Organizing (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 227-243.



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