The paper describes the application of a qualitative diary method combined with in-depth interviews in the context of headquarters-subsidiary cooperation. We examine the distinct requirements of studying shared understanding in the case of distributed teams and argue that further research is necessary in order to explain inter-team conflicts arising from incongruent understandings and divergent expectations. Building on this research gap, we perform a case study in the headquarters of a multinational technology company and one of its subsidiaries. With the help of Event Sampling Methodology (ESM) and in-depth interviews, we were able to identify, analyze and comprehend situations characterized by lacking shared understanding. By this, our research contributes to the methodical discussion on event sampling methods and proposes new fields of application. Furthermore, it contributes to the international management literature by analyzing misunderstandings in international R&D cooperation.