This paper analyzes how team task environment and individual team member personal experiences influence multicultural research and development (R&D) team operations. Unlike previous studies, we specifically focus on small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) R&D teams operating in the high-technology industry, collecting qualitative data from multiple R&D team operations in five Finnish software firms. The findings revealed that the team task environment is significantly influenced by the Nordic egalitarian organizational culture. In fact, the team task environment appears to be more dominant in multicultural R&D teams than anticipated in earlier research. To some extent, this mitigates the influences of culture on multicultural R&D team operations, yet the results also show that individual team member personal experiences are comprised of task specific as well as cultural (international) experiences, which result from being a member of a multicultural work team. Together, these two components have a positive influence on R&D operations, yet intriguingly, task specific experiences resonate with task variability and task analyzability, while cultural experiences tend to impact on task interdependence.
- Multicultural R&D Team
- Small & Medium Sized Enterprises
- Team Task Environment
- Team Members’ Personal Experiences