Who shouts louder? Exerting power across distance and culture
Paper in proceedings, 2009

Despite the increasing attention to multi-cultural collaboration, power in global distributed teams is hardly discussed in research. We used a qualitative, interpretive research method to study four multi-cultural teams from three globally distributed companies in the electronics and software industry in Asia, US, and Europe.!Geographic distance hindered remote leaders’ power and achieving task compliance by creating competing lines of authority and diminishing visibility and awareness of team conditions. Cultural distance between leaders and team members challenged leaders in adapting leadership behavior according to cultural differences. Cultural awareness and language skills both in lingua franca and local language increased the power of remote leaders.

Virtual teams


cultural distance

remote leadership

geographic distance


Niina Nurmi

Anu Sivunen

Renate Fruchter

Proceedings of IWIC, International workshop of intercultural collaboration. ACM Digital Library (http://portal.acm.org/dl.cfm) ACM 978-1-60558-198-9/09/02


Subject Categories

Business Administration

Communication Studies



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