International Collaboration – It’s Not Easy, But it Leads to Better Results

Collaboration is oftentimes difficult. Even with the people right down the hall, collaboration can be challenging. It takes time, organization, communication, and did I mention time? Then try implementing collaboration efforts with people on the other side of the planet. It sounds nearly impossible.

Yet international collaboration generates so much value.  According to a story on NPR, in the science world you are much more likely to be published in a prominent publication if you utilized international collaboration in your study or research.

Based on research conducted by two scientists; Stefano Allesina and Emilio Bruna, they discovered that while there are a very select number of “top-drawer journals” in which scientists strive to be published in, your chances of getting into these top journals were largely dependent on if you collaborated across nations. Also, “publications from international collaborations tended to be more frequently cited by other scientists.”

“So not only [do] you get into a better journal, but then it has more impact than the typical article in the journal” says Allesina

As the world becomes immersed as a globalized economy, in order to survive, many companies are turning to develop global business strategies. In order for companies to establish an effective globalized business practice, international collaboration is absolutely necessary.

But, as mentioned earlier, international collaboration poses as a major challenge. Bruna, one of the researchers studying the impacts of international collaboration says “It’s a royal pain to work internationally and collaboratively… The logistics of setting up a research program in a place that’s 4,000 miles away is really challenging. But even when you get everything set up… You don’t speak the language. You don’t know the cultural norms. You show up on a Monday to work, and you didn’t realize that on Mondays, people only show up at 10:00. And, you know, you’re starving for dinner at 6:00, but Argentineans only want to eat at 10 o’clock at night. I mean, it’s personally really rewarding to get through those things, but it is a royal pain in the ass to work collaboratively.”

But Bruna says all the effort is worth it in the end because working together with Allesina leads to a clear conclusion. “And that is [why] we should work to encourage international collaboration” says Bruna.

With the need for international collaboration also comes a need for understanding cultural norms. As Bruna mentioned, different cultures have different cultural norms that many times we can be surprised to learn don’t do things the same as how we do them . Conducting international business requires an understanding of cultural norms which is why all of TRACOM’s Multi-Rater Profiles use norms for accuracy. TRACOM has developed a variety of norms to reflect the culture and behavioral standards of individual countries and geographic regions. In doing so, people receive profiles that are most meaningful for them.  Surveys and profile reports are also available in dozens of languages.

Learn more about TRACOM’s Global Capability here. 

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