Managing A Global Team At Sun Microsytems: Greg James Case Solution & Answer

Managing A Global Team At Sun Microsytems: Greg James Case Solution

Role of Open Work Environment

The Open Work program was a combination of various tools, technologies and the support processes that have enabled employees in various countries to work from anywhere, anytime by means of using variety of technology. Along with this, once Open Work was introduced at the company, almost 35 % of the employees stopped using the buildings and office on a particular work day. (Samani, March 2017)

Similarly, with the introduction of Open work, Sun actually reduced the real estate holding by almost 15 %. Therefore, this resulted in the saving of nearly a half a billion dollars over the course of the 10 years. Along with this, in the year 2008, almost 60 % of the company’s employees had participated in the program.(Fortune, 2016)

Furthermore, with the introduction of Open Work environment, the employees at the company had the leverage to work along their own work arrangements. Once new a joinee was inducted at thecompany, the managers developed a suitable program with them.(Wood, 1995)

Open work also enabled mobility with security, it provided access to work place access to day to day, thirdly it provided the opportunity for employees to work from home. This was basically a plan to facilitate the performers and to make them work in the best possible and easier time.

Open Work also reduced the operating cost for the company and it also helped in developing a green and responsible environment. Over the period of time, open work has risen the productivity and has been a strong force. It has developed a strong sense of responsibility among employees and the interaction among employees over the email or phone call has been a positive thing.Therefore, it can be said that Open Work has actually helped and supported the parent company to work in the proper direction, by keeping employees motivated.

Role of Diversity on Greg’s Team

The role of diversity in the whole situation has been not very prominent. Since the four offices were not coordinating with another, therefore, the issue of diversity was not a factor that caused the issue identified in the case.(Universum, 2016)

Cultural diversity was quite a big factor in the case, as stated since the four offices operated in entirely different cultures, therefore, none of them supported the other one, and in factblamed each other for the issues that occurred during the communication. (Cultural, 2016)

National differences was a clear factor that contributed to the whole situation which led to lack of communication and coordination amongst the offices. The meeting time set by James was 8:00 (PST) which was easier for Americans and French people to attend. While setting the time for the meeting, Greg James did not think about the time differences for the Asian office. He was rather concerned for the Western offices.

Along with this, the team members should be made aware of the fact that the labor laws for each country are different. In the case of salary packages, United States office was offered higher package because the labor law was such that was supportive of the employees. On the other hand, French labor laws were not so supportive, therefore, the salary difference was almost 30% amongst the two offices. Hence, in order to eliminate the element of biasness, each office should be formally communicated about the labor laws.

Short Term and Long Term Actions

Cultural differences, lack of communication, less information sharing, less face to face interaction, dysfunctional behavior among the team members and insecurities among employees resulted in loss of $300K to the organization. Leadership plays an important role in such problems.(Unknown, Team Leadership: Why Effective Team Communication Is So Important, 2020)

Following the current scenario, Greg should use his leadership skills and should pay the compensation amount instead of dealing with the client in court. By doing so this can reduce the risk of bad reputation and could reduce the risk of loss of an important client, which could be shifted to other IT solution providers and by using his leadership skills, he should assure HS Holding that in the future such issue would never happen again.

In order to avoid such circumstances, Greg should take different steps. In order to deal with the problem of miscommunication, lack of sharing information and lack of face to face interaction, Greg should conduct such meetings at regular intervals so that he could overcome the problem of less interaction.

Greg should mobilize the team members from one zone to another zone in order to enhance the information sharing and to reduce the cultural differences, which could also help the other members to improve their skills and productivity which will ultimately increases customer satisfaction.

Greg should re-evaluate the pay scheme, vacation plan and working hours limit in order to make sure that each employee is getting fair pay and equal benefits like other members of the team, which would help the organization by enhancing the job satisfaction among the members and will also help the organization by eliminating the dysfunctional behavior from employees.(Unknown, Employee Benefits: Why Your People are the Backbone of Your Business., 2016)

Greg should develop the alternative communication system like group emails, as introducing such communication system could help the organization  by reducing the chances of miscommunication and by implementing all these recommended plans, Greg could deal with the problem in short term and as well as in long term.


Based on the above analysis and the issue presented in the case, Greg James should improve the overall coordination and communication amongst the team members. Along with this, he should interact with each office personally so that he can understand their issues and problems. Similarly, James should also value each office separately. James needs to remove the element of cultural diversity and should not stereotype employees. The key take away or the lessons learned from the case is the fact that instead of allowing the teams to make decisions, James should intervene and make decisions himself……………………..

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