The Model of Freedom in Action: An evaluation of a cross cultural training for multinational teams

Presentation Description: Multinational teams (MNTs) are a common occurrence within and across many national and international companies, particularly as organisational and global boundaries continue to blur. There is some evidence that MNTs have the potential for superior performance compared to mono-cultural teams but, conversely, research also suggests that many MNTs fail to perform due to a range of problems rooted in cultural differences amongst their membership. Cross-cultural training (CCT) for MNTs has a critical role to play here, and in this paper, the Model of Freedom (MoF) is introduced as an alternative approach to the more conventional ways of understanding and delivering such training. The MoF is a reconciliation of Hofstedes and Trompenaars original research. This paper reports about the outcomes of participant observations, in depth semi – structured interviews with the original author of the MoF, MoF Associates and participants of the CCT. The observations have taken place in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Paris with participants from a broad range of countries. The outcome of this exploratory research could be of interest for trainers, team leaders and human resource managers alike, and has the potential to better understand the complex nuances of CCT for MNTs.
Keywords: Cultural diversity; multinational teams; cross-cultural training; model of freedom.

Martin Goerlich, MA IBA, BA (Hones).  At present Martin is undertaking research for his Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) at Newcastle Business School (NBS). He is also a lecturer at NBS. He worked in China, Taiwan, Spain, Switzerland and Germany and field studies in France, Holland and Japan.