Team-based global organizations: the future of global organizing

Lena Zander, Christina Butler, Audra Mockaitis, Kendall Herbert, Jakob Lauring, Kristiina Mäkelä, Minna Paunova, Timurs Umans, Peter Zettinig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in bookpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)



We propose team-based organizing as an alternative to more traditional forms of hierarchy-based organizing in global firms.


Advancements in the study of global teams, leadership, process, and outcomes were organized into four themes: (1) openness toward linguistic and value diversity as enhancing team creativity and performance, (2) knowledge sharing in team-based organizations, (3) the significance of social capital for global team leader role success, and (4) shared leadership, satisfaction, and performance links in global virtual teams.


We identify questions at three levels for bringing research on team-based organizing in global organizations forward. At the within-team individual level, we discuss the criticality of process and leadership in teams. At the between-teams group level, we draw attention to that global teams also need to focus on relationships and interactions with other teams within the same global firm, for example, when sharing knowledge. With respect to the across-teams organizational level, we highlight how bringing people together in global teams from different organizational units and cultures creates the potential for experiential individual and team-based learning, while making the firm more flexible and adaptable.

Theoretical implications

The potential of the relatively underexplored idea of global team-based firms as an alternative to hierarchy open up questions for empirical research, and further theorizing about the global firm.

Practical implications

Practitioners can learn about organizational, team, and individual challenges and benefits of global team-based organizing.


A century-old dominant organizational form is challenged when moving away from hierarchy- and hybrid-based forms of organizing toward team-based global organizing of work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe future of global organizing
Subtitle of host publicationprogress in international business research
EditorsVerbeke , Alain , van Tulder, Rob , Drogendijk , Rian
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781785604232, 9781785604225
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in international business research
ISSN (Print)1745-8862

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Business Administration (50202)


  • blending
  • boundary spanning
  • bridge making
  • creativity
  • diversity
  • global leadership roles
  • global teams
  • knowledge transfer
  • language
  • shared leadership
  • team leadership
  • virtual teams


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