Case Study : Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, Inc.

2161 Words May 26th, 2015 9 Pages
Case Study
Case Study: Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, Inc.
As illustrated in the article, “Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, Inc. (A)”, managing a global team is an intricate task that requires special and specific skills (Neely & Delong, 2009). Greg James, the Global Manager, at Sun Microsystems is faced with many layers of problems that have manifested with a crisis with HS Holdings. Greg uncovered more serious problems as he traveled across the globe to assess problems with HS Holdings. This predicament is illustrated by his statement to Lawry, one of the Vice Presidents at Sun Microsystems, “the issues are more complex than I realized” (Neely & Delong, p.4, 2009). He has realized that
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They’ve been feeling disconnected as well as feeling discomfort by team members as their two managers, Nazr and Ashok, don’t get along. There’s an underlying and perceived racism going on between the two teams as well. They were not able to focus on the problem at hand and understand one another since the trust and respect were not established among members. Another dysfunction this team is facing is lack of leadership. It is no doubt that Greg is well established and valuable employee of Sun Microsystems, Inc. with many notable accomplishments. However, he overlooked specific challenges of leading a virtual global team and the importance of his role as a leader. As Hill stresses, “it is essential to understand the role of leadership within teams to ensure team success and to avoid team failure” (Hill, 2010, p.242). Effective leadership is even more crucial with virtual teams and demands “50% more investment” (Dyer, Dyer, & Dyer, 2007, as cited in Hill, 2010, p.248). Greg failed to read all the “personal and contextual nuances” and potential conflicts among his team members (Hill, 2010, p.248). He failed to understand potential meaning of silence, misunderstandings, team process, and overlooked signs that have eventually led to discontentment and misunderstandings of his team members. Greg formed his team rather quickly, composed of seven members from France, Inida, UAE, and US. James hired them based on their credentials and impressive resumes, but he didn’t
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