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Cultural Differences

While language may be the most obvious cultural difference, other more subtle influences will challenge a virtual team. Behavioral norms are often vastly different between companies, professions, functions, or geographies. People of differing cultures or backgrounds share basic concepts but often view them from different angles and perspectives. For example, an American team may push for a detailed, written work contract with a Japanese company that would most likely prefer a less formal commitment that allows for changes if circumstances change. In a virtual team, all the diverse members must align their work efforts around a common team mission and seek common ground with their counterparts.


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