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different languages, and live in quite different

cultures. The diversity amongst team members,

with the company's emphasis on

growth and globalized operations, presented significant

challenges intended for W. M. Gore mainly because it strove to

maintain a family-like, entrepreneurial culture.

Relating to Terri Kelly, the president of Gore

and a 25-year associate: 2

In the early days, our business was generally conducted

in the local level. There were global operations,

but most interactions were created regionally,

and many decisions were made regionally. That

picture has become incredible dramatically during the last 20

years, as businesses can no longer become defined by

brick and mortar. Today, most of our teams happen to be

spread around regions and continents. Consequently ,

the decision-making process is much more global

and virtual in nature, and there's a growing need

to build strong relationships across physical

boundaries. The globalization of the business features

been one of the greatest changes I've seen in the

last twenty-five years.

Elements of the culture by Gore happen to be captured

in Exhibit 1 ) The main belief in the need to take

the long-term perspective in business scenarios, and to

produce and keep obligations, drove assistance

among individuals and little teams. This was supported

by key practices that changed traditional,

hierarchical structure with flexible human relationships

and an expression that all workers were having the same problem.

In 2010, W. L. Gore & Affiliates celebrated

the 52nd 12 months in business. Founded in 1958 by

Invoice and Vieve Gore in the basement with their

home, Gore had expanded into a global enterprise

known for its high end fabrics, medical

products, and next-generation electronic products,

and its use of self-empowered clubs of

employees (called affiliates at Gore). In its previous

years, the organization had pursued to restrict

the size of its distinct corporate features to 200

associates or perhaps fewer, a practice that helped keep the

number of teams at specific facility to a manageable

quantity and facilitated cross-team coordination.

More recently, however , to better manage

the difficulties of a global marketplace, increasing

numbers of clubs were consisting of associates in

different establishments, sometimes services that were

pass on across 3 continents; the coordination

of team members employed in different facilities

was empowered by on the net communication.

This year, Gore's products were sold on six continents

and used on every seven areas, as well

since under the marine and in space. The company

global operations required teams of associates to

tightly synchronize their activities in producing,

producing, and marketing items to consumers

across the world. Currently teams were organized

mainly along product lines, with simply a

couple of teams composed of members working in the

same Gore facility. As a consequence, it had been common

for team members being separated by thousands

of miles, operate multiple timezones, speak

Outspoken Shipper

Salisbury University

Charles C. Manz

University of Massachusetts–Amherst

Greg L. Stewart

University of Iowa


T. L. Gore & Acquaintances:

Developing Global Teams

to satisfy 21st-Century

Problems 1

Copyright laws В© 2010 by the case authors. Most rights appropriated.

tho12729_case26_C391-C405. indd C-391 14/12/10 3: 01 PM

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C-392 Part a couple of Cases in Crafting and Executing Strategy

The several principles had been referred to as fairness,

freedom, commitment, and waterline. The

waterline principle was drawn from a great analogy to

ships. If perhaps someone poked a gap in a vessel above

the waterline, the boat would be in relatively small

real hazard. If, yet , someone poked a opening

below the waterline, the boat can be in quick

danger of sinking. The expectation was

that " waterline” issues would be mentioned across

groups, plants, and continents because appropriate

prior to any decisions about them were made. Gore

still emphasized this principle actually...

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