Continuing our discussion of team building in different types of teams, in this chapter we will explore how to apply team-building principles to alliance teams, entrepreneurial (start-up) teams, and family teams. These types of teams are increasingly important and require an understanding of their unique characteristics and how teamwork is necessary for them to be effective.

Interorganizational Alliance Teams

Alliances between organizations now count for a significant percentage of revenue in many corporations. Thus, “alliance teams” comprised of team members from each organization are being formed in greater numbers than ever before. But the challenges that these teams face are formidable. Indeed, most studies on alliances show that 30 to 50 percent fail to meet the objectives outlined by the alliance team at the beginning of the alliance.1 Such failures are largely due to: (1) differences in partner cultures (this may be due to differences in corporate culture but also may be due to differences in national cultures), (2) incompatible partner objectives, (3) poor alliance leadership, and (4) poor integration processes.2 Each of these is related to a failure in managing the alliance team rather than a “failure in technology” or “changes in the business environment,” two factors that clearly can derail an alliance but are largely beyond the control of the partners. In short, the number-one reason that alliances ...

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