Managing Global Team Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

1.      Major Problems in the Organization

Sun Microsystems work in a virtual fashion, named as an open work environment. The problems persistent in the organization include: Negligence towards other teams except USA and biased attitude toward favoring USA team, Remuneration and office meeting time mismatch and clashes among team members on the basis of ethnicity. All of this was leading to miscommunication and inability amongst members to interlink. The issue that dominates all the problems is the organizational structure, which is disengaging in nature and does not allow face to face interaction between geographically dispersed teams. Due to this, the company is facing a lot of potential problems with respect to goal alignment amongst members of the regional teams. The organization is subject to the power distance, Individualism versus Feminism, Uncertainty avoidance and masculinity versus femininity, cultural dimension of Hofstede Cultural Dimensions. For example, there is high power distance between teams, which have less contact with Mr. Greg James as he himself is an American and deems that more power and rewards should be given to Americans. The exhibit below represents the graphical representation of the Hofstede Model.

2.      Potential Solutions for Organizational Issues Persistent at Sun Microsystems Inc.

Below is the list of alternatives that Greg James must consider in order to solve the global issues surfacing in the organization. The three alternatives given can either be pursued simultaneously or one by one depending on the severity of the situation. Being a virtual organization, the geographical differences need to be embraced by the employees as this will help the organization to grow better and faster.

  1. Inter and Intra Group Cohesiveness needs to be clinched so as to avoid blame game in the organization.
  2. Transparency and Equal Growth Opportunity amongst the employees need to be fostered to develop trust in the company geographically.
  3. Increase or decrease overall face to face interaction amongst employees and Mr. Greg James.

3.      How to address each alternative to tackle the problem:

a.      Alternative 1: Group Cohesiveness

Encouraging a two way dialogue will help in re-evaluation of the payment system if there is a need. Moreover, when team leaders will get to talk with each other face to face then they can better overcome communication gaps in the work. In order to avoid miscommunication, the company can introduce a real time communication system that will be intelligent enough to send emails to everyone in the thread to keep employees informed geographically on what is happening at other sites. Group orientations can help a great deal in fostering cohesiveness.

b.      Alternative 2: Transparency and Equality in Growth Opportunities for Employees

Indian team members seem frustrated and distrusted by the organization in terms of their competence, as they were given issues related to consumer complaints. The work needs to get enriched. Every regional team needs to rotate work every two months in order to balance work among team members. If not possible, then on a quarterly basis this alternative can be implemented. Each team leader needs training on the issues concerning remuneration packages. To avoid miscommunication or disguised meetings, all team leaders need to meet on an arena, where they will be guided about their job market and its alignment with the remuneration package.

c.       Alternative 3: Increase Face To Face Interaction with All Team Members

Global Manager, Greg James needs to develop attributes that help employees in developing a concerned feeling rather than a dis-oriented one. Each of the teams has different cultural backgrounds and different preferences that they need consideration. For example, the Arabic team needs to be encouraged collectively along with long term orientation and femininity in dealing with these team members. Americans are individualistic people, with weak uncertainty avoidance and short term cultural orientation. The French is individualistic but masculine cultural oriented. They have high uncertainty avoidance and long term orientation. Indians are suffering with long working hours and the same old traditional work. Therefore, this needs to get changed as they have weak uncertainty avoidance and possess a feminine culture in all. By doing so, the company can better handle employees’ issues as it is a multinational. As a global company, Sun Microsystems needs to ponder over each regions demands and how to establish procedural and distributive justice in the organization....................

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