At a Distance: Learning about Cross-cultural Virtual Teams in an International Management Course
Document Type Book Chapter
Søndergaard, M., Calás, M.B. and Donnelly, P. (2004) ‘At a Distance: Learning about Cross-cultural Virtual Teams in an International Management Course’, in C. Wankel and R. DeFillippi (eds) The Cutting Edge of International Management Education, pp.167-200. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
This chapter narrates our experiences designing and teaching an international management course which was technologically enhanced to include cross-cultural interactions between the US and Denmark. Our rationale, that issues regarding globalization have accelerated the need to bring together through virtual means people from different cultures to engage in collaborative performance at a distance, was addressed in the context of theoretical concerns regarding cultural differences. We discuss the theoretical premises on which we based the course, illustrate the three core distance activities that we designed for these purposes, evaluate the general outcome in light of our objectives, and assess their value for others engaged in teaching courses such as ours. At the end, we link our experiences to broader issues pertaining to distance-education in today’s university environments.