People who are assigned to inter-cultural teams often begin working closely with a group of new team members, and the welfare of the new group tends to displace the welfare of the individual as the team attempts to build cohesiveness and a sense of interdependence. (Wellins, 1990, 76)
As with self-management, the use of teams in the workplace also may best be thought of as lying on a continuum. At one end, teams with a low degree of interdependence consist of employees who rarely see each other and perform their tasks without exchanging information or materials.
At the other end of the continuum, teams with a high degree of task interdependence consist of employees who frequently interact and constantly exchange materials and information to complete their tasks.1 On a highly interdependent team, successful task accomplishment obviously depends greatly on the interaction of employees. Our definition of a inter-cultural teams, however, implies very little variation. Thus, we assume that resistance to inter-cultural teams is, essentially, resistance to interdependent teams.
The resistance to inter-cultural teams can be due to a person's philosophy about teamwork rather than to his or her views on particular task characteristics (such as a task's degree of self-management).
For example, when introduced to the idea of inter-cultural teams, an i ...