BSL 4000 Unit I Project



Unit I Project

Fig Technologies (Fig) is a technology solution firm who has offices in numerous places in the world. This firm has recently made efforts to expand the firm to different regions, which will allow the company to grow the products and services. Fig has acquired several small firms in various regions and opened a new IT division in Tyler, Texas. The Tyler division aligned with divisions in Qatar and Germany will allow Fig to form virtual teams. Fig sent team members from each of the three offices to the other offices for a two-month immersion. This immersion project allowed the team members to learn culture, process, and systems in each location.

There were reports of hostility and difficulties from all three offices. The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) for Fig hired The Solution Group (TSG) to assess the current assimilation efforts with the project. This report contains the results of that assessment. This report will determine if transfers were accepted, identify roadblocks and obstacles, examine the results of the assessments, and present Fig with ways to improve their assimilation efforts.

Team Composition

The teams Fig created were ethnically diverse teams. Teams were located at each of the three sites, which were Qatar, Germany, and Texas. Each team was comprised of three members from each location and one from the corporate headquarters in Mobile, Alabama. Each team had one team member who was bilingual and each team utilized the most experienced members of each location as the lead for each team. Each team included a minority team member, a young team member, and a female. The only exception was that Qatar was exempt from having to provide a female for their squads due to females only making up 25% of their country and thus restricting the number of females available at their site. For the Qatar site, it will be required that both Germany and Texas have a female at that location. The collective demographic of the teams due to the demographic breakdown of the regions, resulted in Table 1.

The teams consisted of personnel who have been with Fig for numerous years and young personnel with an enterprising person mentality. The mixture of personnel created balance for the teams. The experienced personnel were able to communicate things that have worked in the past and the young personnel brought new ideas to the team. The work culture is a difference among the teams as well as the locations of the teams. Qatar is a collectivist culture and in collectivist cultures loyalty is considered paramount, and “over-rides most other societal rules and regulations” (Hofstede Insights, 2019, para 2). In an individualistic culture, it is defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of only themselves and their immediate families” (Hofstede Insights, 2019, para 4). The United States falls in the individualistic culture category and is probably one of the most individualistic cultures in the world. Germany operates with a communication that is style that is amongst one of the most direct in the world; believing in the concept of being “honest, even if it hurts” (Hofstede Insights, 2019, para 2). Germany and Qatar are also considered to be cultures that lean towards uncertainty avoidance, while the United States does not (Hofstede Insights, 2019, para 7). Germany and Qatar will be more apt to do things that they know work rather than trying new things. They will avoid uncertainty. Language is the last large difference between these groups this report found. In Qatar, the common language is Arabic, but English is a prevelant second language (World Population Review, 2020). German Deutsch is the official language in Germany, but Englisth is also a language that is spoken in Germany ( 2020). English is the language that is used motly in Texas. Communication can be a problem if a team member does not speak English. Trying to interpret someone speaking a language that is unfamiliar can create communication issues. Communication is a key for each team to be successful. Thirty people were used to create three teams, one in each division that represented a broad spectrum of experience in each division. These factors are highly influenced based off the demographics within that region that make up that division’s working class.

Assessment Tool

The assimilation efforts of the team were gauged by having the team members complete a survey that assessed the issues within each team. The survey consisted of the questions that are listed below.

1. Do you feel like the team values your opinions?

2. Did you feel comfortable providing your opinions to the team?

3. Did you feel discriminated against at any time during the project? If so, how?

4. Did you have trouble communicating your opinions during the project?

5. Describe obstacles that you believe did not allow your team to be fully successful?

6. Did you have trouble understanding team members during the project?

7. Were you fully committed to helping the team be successful? If no, provide reasons.


The survey provided great insight into obstacles that each team member faced during the project. Cultural differences played a large role in creating obstacles for each team. The company put great thought into creating teams that were culturally diverse, but did not provide adequate cultural training. Many team members provided information that determined that they felt like they had been discriminated against and their opinions were not valued. The cultural differences created disagreements among team members in each group. Members of the Qatar division felt that the team members from the United States were disrespectful to the leadership because they questioned the guidance of the leadership. The team members of German division felt that the Qatar team did not provide new ideas and only agreed with opinions provided by leadership. The Germans and the Texans team felt that the Qatar division also created many setbacks to their timelines due to the religious beliefs many within the Qatar division held; which ended up taking priority over the deadlines and assignments that the teams faced. The Texas division team members felt like the Germans were not as serious about the project because they did not want to work a full forty-hour workweek. In Germany, they work 28-35 hour workweeks. These benefits include having to have a mandatory break after 11 hours and high salaries that the other divisions did not experience, which created hostility amongst the teams. The team members from Texas were perceived as being not practical because they provided more new ideas than the team members from the other countries did. They felt the Texans should have been more open to the methods that had proven success.

Recommended Strategies

The data was analyzed by TSG, which allowed recommendations to be made. Three approaches that will improve the assimilation efforts. The first approach would be to allow TSG to perform an in depth culture training that will focus on the obstacles that were determined from the survey. Educating the teams on the cultural differences will help team members understand ways that they can overcome their differences. The training will focus on work schedules in each division, communicating with people from other countries, and communicating opinions.

The second approach is TSG will conduct in-person interviews with each team as well as with each team member individually. Interviewing team members privately will help determine issues that are causing the problems. The data will be provided to the team members from each division, which will allow them to determine ways to address the issues. They will brainstorm ideas that will help avoid the issues in the future.

The last approach is to have the teams perform team-building activities that will be provided by TSG. Numerous team-building activities can be performed to improve the teams. TSG will determine the team-building activities that will help the teams be successful and provide to the teams. The team-building exercises will create more comradery within the team and help the teams become successful. Each member will be able to prove themselves to the other team members during the exercises. The team members will be forced to learn to communicate with each other better in order to complete the exercises in a timely manner.

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