Spillover Coordination from Global Teams



Date of this version


Document Type

Book Chapter


Coordination mechanisms, global teams, multinational enterprises, social capital


Purpose - In this chapter we develop a conceptual model describing how global teams do more than accomplish discrete tasks, and create “spillover coordination” effects by influencing the amount of work-related direct contact among team members outside the task boundaries of the team. We theorize that spillover coordination is the result of relational and cognitive social capital developed through team interaction. We also propose that the design of the team and the context in which it operates influence the degree to which social capital develops.

Methodology/approach - We develop a conceptual model including propositions that can be tested empirically. We suggest avenues for future research.

Practical implications - Our model proposes that teams are a more powerful cross-border integration mechanism than originally thought in existing literature in international management and organizational behavior, since they affect social capital that can benefit the broader MNE beyond scope of the task and after the team disbands. Our approach suggests that MNE managers should be mindful of global team spillover effects and intentional in the way they design global teams if those benefits are to be achieved.

Originality/value - Most research on global teams, and teams in general, does not look past the task and time boundary of the team. We expand the view of team effectiveness to encompass those dimensions.

Published in

The Future of Global Organizing

Citation/Other Information

Maloney, Mary M., Mary Zellmer-Bruhn, and Priti Pradhan Shah. "Spillover coordination from global teams." The Future of Global Organizing. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015. 245-279.