Communication facilitators and obstacles within multicultural teams

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The attempt of this research is aimed at elucidating which are the facilitators and obstacles and how do they play a role in communication within culturally diverse work teams. Thus, two working teams immersed in a European international company based in Argentina and Chile are analyzed. This is achieved by investigating and uncovering the work experiences and the interactions of the members of these teams and by comprehending how their interactions take place in terms of communication. The semi-structured interviews conducted to twelve skilled expatriate workers exhibit that the teams´ experienced cohesiveness and their attempts to adapt their own communication styles act as communication facilitators; while the communication problems and difficulties derived from the dissimilar communication manners and the members´ preference to both interact and communicate with cultural peers, are found to behave as obstacles of these communication processes. This study clarifies the relevance of successful communications within multicultural teams in an organizational setting by providing the potential positive outcomes and negative consequences that may arise and that may be provided by culturally diverse group members. With the aim of attaining favorable results from these kinds of working teams, some measures in terms of constructive and efficient communications are provided to encourage the enhancement of multicultural communications in an organizational context.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen