Global Team Dynamics across Time: The Perception of Oneself, Others and the Team on Team Performance

Ricarda Schnarr

Student thesis: Master thesis


This empirical research study aims to examine the perception of leadership emergence in internationally composed teams and its influence on the perception of team performance. Individual’s perceptions of oneself, others and the team all together relating to team performance in the short and long-term are investigated. Theories are derived from existing literature, covering the terms of emerging leadership, global mindset, team performance, shared identity, shared leadership emergence and virtual communication tools. Two analyses are conducted, the first focusing on possible variables impacting leadership emergence and team performance during the groups’ development while being co-located. The second puts emphasis on the struggles the same teams face during global dispersion. The research is quantitative and based on two surveys sent to 98 Master of International Business (MIB) students of Queen’s Smith School of Business in Canada during and after co-location. Results reveal that a high global mindset negatively impacts the perceived emergence of leadership in a global team. No relationship was found between perceived leadership emergence and the perception of team performance. A high level of team identity results in an increased perception of shared leadership emergence. The same effect is found between the emergence of shared leadership and the perception of team performance. High virtual communication tool’s use and collective adoption only have a positive outcome on shared identity if synchronous (instant) communication tools are utilized. High use and adoption of synchronous as well as asynchronous communication tools will increase a team’s performance. The study adds to the lack of research on the combination of utilized variables in the context of global teams that are co-located first and dispersed afterwards. Practical recommendations are given by proposing a more selective hiring process, interactive virtual activities and educational, awareness-raising and team-oriented trainings.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Diversity and Change Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages51
SupervisorsMinna Paunova