Kairavi Chahal
Hero (Wide).png

International UX: A Blog

Week 9: Cross-Cultural Teams


  • Global UX, chap. 6 and chap. 5.

  • Davis (2018)_Core Values Matter


Global UX: Chapter 5

  • “It takes the ability to recognize that you are in an environment, that you're in an all-encompassing environment, to recognize the elements of what those things are, before you can even begin to attempt to make a change.”

  • “People who work outside of corporate headquarters feel a strong difference between themselves, and talk about HQ, the central hub, or the mother ship. People working from the center talk about the regions and the markets, as though they are abstract entities, instead of colleagues and equals.”

    • I have definitely experienced this, working at two different offices of the same company. But I have also seen cross-region collaboration build huge products. So maybe teams/companies find their own equilibrium. And definitely different teams and departments within a company have different cultures too.


    • I think outsourcing has a negative connotation of just dumping your work on an external entity, while what this section talked about was more like collaborating with external designers. And collaboration is known to have mostly positive connotations.

Global UX: Chapter 6

  • “At one end of the U, traditional teams, made up of people from a single country, formed a unified team identity easily. In the middle, teams with low diversity, such as a team with one dominant group and a few people from other countries, formed subgroups and internal factions easily. These teams were the least effective. At the other end of the U, highly diverse teams with many cultures represented also worked well.”

    • Interesting. Makes sense though, if you think about it. I wonder if there is a similar relationship between size of teams and how well they work.

  • “Cultural differences in communication style can affect how well the team works.”

    • I think it could also help to actually acknowledge the differences so that everyone can make more of an effort to communicate clearly . Or at least acknolwedging the fact that there are differences.

Davis: Core Values Matter

  • “[…] consistency between their messages and the values expressed in their products, services, and/or social behavior.”

  • “Social media shifted the power relationship between people and companies.”

  • Honesty and authenticity are particularly important to younger audiences.”

    “[…] more likely to buy from a company that is doing good things for the world.”

    • This made me also think of how when we are adapting a product to different cultures, we also have to account for different age groups with a culture. I’m sure there are countries where the intergenerational culture is vastly different.

  • “[…] found a positive relationship between corporate financial performance and corporate social performance […]”

    • But it’s hard to convince companies of this. Most decisions are made based on what has a direct impact on the bottom line.

  • “radical transparency”

    • This is a good strategy that more companies should adopt, particularly the likes of Facebook and Google. It is also important to have intra-company transparency. Often, employees are also not aware of decisions are being made based on their work.

  • “[…] worker ownership, workforce and board diversity, inclusive governance, supply chain screening, living wage, schedule flexibility, and primary caregiver leave.”

  • “[…] accountable to measures different from those of function, appearance, and client satisfaction.”

    • Yes, we need to have new ways of measuring success of a company, but at the end of the day it all boils down to money.

  • “We must be aware of our own biases.”
    ”Making these assumptions explicit and visible creates the opportunity for reflection and repair.”

    • True as ever. If I have learned one thing in this program, it’s to be aware of biases and assumptions.

Kairavi Chahal