Building Teams and Organizational Learning in China: A case illustrating how Action research can be used in a cross-cultural context to support new ways of working between universities and industry
Paper i proceeding, 2012

In 2010, the Chinese Geely Holding Group bought Swedish Volvo Cars. During the build-up phase of a first new factory in Chengdu, Swedish and Chinese managers were employed to work in parallel and on equal terms. However, these cross-cultural teams did not appear to work as effectively and harmoniously as was expected. Due to Volvo’s history of working with the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Volvo decided to design a project together with Chalmers with 3 key-objectives: 1.To understand what was supporting and hindering their cross cultural teams. 2. To support the teams to learn from the results and to experiment with new ways of working and learning. 3. To develop a research team that included both Swedish and Chinese professors and students. As a result, a cross cultural team was created between Chalmers and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC). An action research approach was designed, including feedback workshops to support leaders to become aware of and to experiment with new ways of working and learning together. Action research was found useful for the Swedish/Chinese company to improve its leadership groups and to enhance its relations with universities in a new cross cultural setting.

Gestalt cycle of experience

learning alliance

university-industry collaboration



action research

leadership teams


Sverker Alänge

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Industriell kvalitetsutveckling

Sari Scheinberg

The 10th GLOBELICS International Conference, 9-11 November, 2012 in Hangzhou, China



Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi




Innovation och entreprenörskap

Lärande och undervisning

Pedagogiskt arbete

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