Croatian International Relations Review

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VimalaVenugopal Muthuswamy
Department of Management, College of Business Administration, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia

Employees of multinational corporations are required to work in multicultural teams. They face many obstacles due to cultural and national differences, including misunderstanding, lack of team participation, conflicts, and language barriers. Assisting the team's leader and other members in such situations can facilitate positive outcomes. The present study examines the role of leadership and team members in determining the team identification and work engagement of multinational enterprise (MNE) employees. Data were collected from 201 Saudi Arabian employees of multinational corporations (MNCs) to achieve this objective. The quantitative data analysis was conducted using SPSS and Smart PLS. The results revealed that a leader's promotion of team-shared innovation goals, communication participation, and behavior in bridging cultural gaps are positively associated with employee team identification. In addition, team identification was identified as a positive mediator between the relationship between a leader's encouragement of team-shared innovation goals, team communication involvement, and a leader's cultural gap-bridging behavior and employee engagement. Relationship conflict was discovered to be a significant moderator between the leader's behavior in bridging cultural gaps and team identification. Very few studies have previously explored the role of leadership and team communication inclusion in team-level outcomes such as team identification and work engagement, so this study makes a substantial contribution to the literature. Also, the mediating role of team identification and the moderating role of relationship conflict have not been studied extensively, so this study contributes to the existing body of knowledge.

Keywords: Multicultural teams, Team communication, Leadership, Cultural gap bridging behavior, Employee engagement.