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I am an EFL teacher, French & Spanish lecturer, Business Trainer and Teacher Trainer. I have worked in Spain, France, Malaysia, Bahrain, the UAE. Now I am back in the UK, where I work as an EAP Lecturer for Wolverhampton University. I am also an IELTS examiner with Aston University. In my free time I enjoy tennis, sailing, snowboarding and watching foreign language films.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Are multinational teams more successful? How is it possible to answer this question?

Review: Are multinational teams successful? (2012) Harmut Haas and Stephen Nuesch. 

 I have just finished reading this research paper and wanted to share my views.

At first glance, I imagined the article would discuss teamwork in business, but the entire paper is about a study conducted on the efficiency of football teams in the German Bundesleague. The research measures performance in 4284 football matches over a 15 year period and finds that multinational teams do not perform as well as those that are culturally homogenous.

Although there is a very thorough explanation of how the results were obtained, including independent judges of team performances, there are several issues that make me doubt the value of the research. Firstly, the paper mentions multinational team performance 'in many sectors', but all of the data collected refers only to football teams and their performance in sports. The research may be useful if the focus is on improving football team performance but, as factors such as language skills and cultural barriers to communication are not explored, the study is of limited use for anyone studying business or human resource management.

Attempting to classify the behaviour of any group of human beings is problematic due to the amount of variables (personality, training, language skills, the focus of the group activity) that need to be considered. Whilst this may have been an interesting study for the authors, who I assume are football fans, it does not, in my opinion, earn the right to be considered as a key text for human resource management studies.


Are multinational teams successful? (2012) Harmut Haas and Stephen Nuesch.
International Journal for Human Resource Management, Routledge. [online] Available at:
http://tinyurl.com/pgu8tsg  Accessed 3/9/13

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