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Ch 5 Exercises

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Chapter 5 Exercises:  Cross-Cultural Virtual Collaboration


The following exercises help shed light on the necessary considerations to engage in successful cross-cultural virtual collaboration.



1. Demonstrating cross-cultural sensitivity techniques


A) As discussed in the chapter, the source of greatest harm to cross-cultural team is a disparity of values, expectations and communication styles. Review each set of norms and values presented below, can you identify which set of expectations is exhibited by which culture?


     a) Italy        b) France        c) Mexico        d) Russia


    1. When on business in __________

                         - Avoid speaking loudly in public, speaking loudly is a sign of nervousness and insecurity here

                         - Don't be overly friendly, "car salesman" attitude is considered unprofessional here

                         - Do know the subject before making a statement 


    1. When on business in __________

                         - Attempt to speak local language, it doesn't have to be perfect, important thing is to try here

                         - Be direct when dealing with locals. They respect honesty and trust is a key component for get things done here.

                         - Show respect to local cuisine and don’t ask for ketchup in a restaurant


    1. When on business in __________

                         - Dress appropriately, especially for a woman, business attire is a must here

                         - Long lunch hours and long vacations are common here, make sure the business plan accounts for that

                         - First impressions are important here and third-party introduction goes a long way.


    1. When on business in __________

                         - Plan for a couple days trip, make sure that personal relationships develops, before moving on to business

                         - Time is fluid here, accommodate for that

                         - Do you homework, knowledge of local geography and history is a sign of respect 


B) Consider cultures presented above, is there any disparity of values, expectations or communication styles between those cultures? Could those harm a cross-cultural team that consists of people from 2 or more of the countries mentioned above?


C) Think of a 5th culture, give an example of possible cultural values, expectations and communication styles that could be disruptive to a cross-cultural team.



2. Effectively communicating expectations for a project


An international company with operations in China is in the process of creating a new website for its Chinese partners. Though content for the new website will be developed by China’s team located in Hong Kong (content is in Chinese and English), website itself is being developed in corporate office, in Chicago, to ensure that it stays within companies guidelines for functionality and user experience design.

Chicago team consists of: team manager, project manager, developer, content management specialist, user experience manager and web analyst. 

China team consists of: team manager, writer, user experience manager and several high level executives who are stakeholders in the project.


Everything is progressing smoothly and project is in the final stage - functionality, content and user experience testing. Both teams are testing website on their own time, then discuss their findings twice a week during a defect meeting, which is done virtually. During defect testing many functionality and user experience defects were found, but everything seemed to be good from content perspective. Chicago team proceeded to fix identified defects and project manager for Chicago team emailed China’s team manager asking for the final sign of. Next morning everyone involved with the project received the following email from China’s team manager.


Hi Jerry,


We have reviewed the whole website.  But still, we found that some changes have not been made in your last update.  The newsroom link should be linked to http://newsroom.transunion.com, but you have linked to http://newsroom-en.transunion.hk/? which is no longer valid.  And you also did not update the pricing of the credit report in Personal Section.  This time, we also include some new changes.  All the not-yet-updated and new changes are included in the attached pdf and excel file.  Changes must be made before we can give the final sign of on the project. 


If you have any questions, please raise.




A) Write a possible response from Chicago’s project manager to China’s team manager? Who should be included on the email?


B) What is the issue here? How can this issue be resolved?


C) What can be done on future projects to avoid similar issues?



3. Demonstrating Generational Attributes Knowledge


Match the characteristic to the generational group that it describes:

T = Traditionalist    B = Baby Boomer    X = Generation X     Y = Millennial


1 ____ Disciplined, dutiful, conforming and conservative.
2 ____ 75 million born between 1946- 1964.
3 ____ Values autonomy, diversity, technology and balance in the work place.
4 ____ 3/4 of the nation’s financial assets are controlled by these guys yet they are only 5-7% of the workforce.
5 ____ There are 70 million of them, but there are only 2-5% of them are in the workforce.
6 ____ Optimistic, open-minded, globalized and technologically supreme.
7 ____ This group is unimpressed with authority and believe leaders should be competent.
8 ____ This group may love or hate authority but believes that leadership should occur by consensus.



4. Critical Thinking Questions


  1. What are some of the other cultures that impact collaboration which not referenced in the chapter?  How do these cultures impact the dynamic of a team?


  1. When discussing why cross cultural collaboration exists a quote by Evan Rosensaid was shared:

          “Without a Culture of Collaboration, the best processes, systems, tools, and leadership strategies fall flat.”

           Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your answer.


  1. To which degree should cost saving initiatives be taken into consideration while building cross cultural collaboration?


  1. How has cross cultural collaboration impacted your organization?  How has it impacted your immediate office? How has it impacted global operations?


  1. How does cultural collaboration impact high context cultures versus low context cultures?


  1. How does cultural collaboration impact high territoriality cultures versus low territoriality cultures?



5. Cross Cultural Concepts Crossword1,2





Works Cited
  1. Free Online Puzzle Maker. Variety Games, Inc. Web. 13 Nov. 2010. <http://www.puzzle-maker.com/>.
  2. Merriam-Webster Online. Merriam-Webster Incorporated. Web. 13 Nov. 2010. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/>.
  3. All other exercises presented here were original works created by students, though supported by general research nothing was taken directly from a source that could be cited.  Research materials ware used for reference purposes only.   



Answer Key for Chapter 5 Exercises


Answers for Exercise 1


 i.           Russia

ii.           France

iii.          Italy

iv.          Mexico


Answers for Exercise 3

1.       T

2.       B

3.       X

4.       T

5.       Y

6.       Y

7.       X

8.       B


Answers for Exercise 5



Comments (1)

Michael Barth said

at 10:01 am on Nov 2, 2010

I think the chapter is informative. After studying in India last summer you hit on some of the points that I realized when we were there.

A couple of things. Look at your formating. The exercises are a little difficult to read even after they are printed. Put some spacing and some gaps in there.

Another aspect you might want to look at which we discussed in India was working across country lines with teams. Understanding business practices in another country when working on a project and factoring that into your project timeline.

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