Issues of cultural, social, economic, and environmental sustainability have become increasingly significant in the Pacific Islands region of the world. While factors such as climate change present immediate and visible challenges to the region, it is also now subject to a host of economic, cultural and ecological forces, each of which presents its own challenges to a region where, for centuries, the outside world had little (if any) influence on the traditional and largely sustainable way of life.
Efforts to resolve such issues frequently involve international non-governmental organizations from the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand working with local islanders. Both groups bring to the table a wealth of knowledge and ideas that, when combined, create the possibility of effective movement towards a more sustainable future. As such teams work together, however, distinct cultural differences appear in the ways Pacific Islanders and Anglos approach team participation. This paper explores issues surrounding perceptions of conflict and voice within cross-cultural teams. The findings indicate that Pacific islanders tend to identify higher levels of argumentation within team settings than do their Anglo counterparts. Further, they are more likely than Anglos not to voice disagreement with the rest of the team in an effort, potentially, to preserve group harmony. The implications of these findings for the development and management of effective cross-cultural teams to tackle the challenges faced are discussed.
|Keywords:||Sustainable Development, Pacific Islands, Culture, Teamwork|
Professor, Management, College of Business, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Assistant Professor, Business School, University of Ulster, Belfast, UK
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