The formation of a working cross-functional team including representatives of different backgrounds and departments of the organization is a challenging task for a human resource (HR) manager (Daspit, Tillman, Boyd, & Mckee, 2013). As a result, it is important to state clearly what aspects are determinants and what aspects are challenges for this situation. Although the focus on building a cross-functional team is an appropriate choice to contribute to sharing goals and strategies among employees, this process is rather complicated.
The Factor Determining the Success of the Team
Leadership can be discussed as a determinant to influence the development of a cross-functional team. According to Pryor, Singleton, Taneja, and Toombs (2009), the team is successful when it shares the vision, uses the single strategy, and orients to completing goals as a result of cooperation. The selection of appropriate team members and the focus on collaboration are important in this case. However, Pryor et al. (2009) accentuate the role of leaders in the process of team development. When the team leader cannot perform his or her tasks effectively, it is almost impossible to speak about the vision sharing, exchange of ideas, and productive cooperation in a team.
The Important Challenge
Even when the team members are selected effectively and a leader performs the tasks perfectly, the achievement of effective communication remains to be a challenge for cross-functional teams. Thatcher (2006) notes that each team member represents his or her own background, culture, skills, and vision. Moreover, the team member has specific communication preferences, and the focus on them is important to guarantee that all issues are discussed efficiently, and all messages are understood properly.
Daspit, J., Tillman, C., Boyd, N. G., & Mckee, V. (2013). Cross-functional team effectiveness: An examination of internal team environment, shared leadership, and cohesion influences. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 19(1), 34-56.
Pryor, M., Singleton, L., Taneja, S., & Toombs, L. (2009). Teaming as a strategic and tactical tool: An analysis with recommendations. International Journal of Management, 26(2), 320-333.
Thatcher, M. (2006). Segmenting the workforce to improve communication. Strategic Communication Management, 10(6), 26-29.