7A FOCUSED WAY OF WORKING WITH MACRO CULTURES

Assessing macro cultures in terms of all of the dimensions mentioned in the preceding chapter is a huge task, but it is useful only for the researcher with a particular interest in a particular country or someone who wants to compare macro cultures. For the organizational leader or the person wanting to join an organization, a more applied and focused approach is needed. The best place to start is with the observation that multicultural task forces and projects will not only become more common in the future but have even acquired a new name—“collaborations.” Such new kinds of work groups are well described in an article within the Handbook of Cultural Intelligence (Ang & Van Dyne, 2008):

Participants in a collaboration may come together on a one-time basis, without anticipating continued interaction. A core set of members may remain involved for an extended period of time, but other participants may float on and off the effort, working only on an “as needed” sporadic basis. Further, collaborations may have periods of intensely interdependent interaction, but may otherwise consist of quite independent actors. Many are not embedded in a single organizational context, but represent either cross-organizational cooperation or participants may not have any organizational affiliation at all. Participants may feel as though they share a common purpose for the duration of a given project, yet may not view themselves as a “team.” Collaborators ...

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