Cultural diversity and work-group performance: Detecting the rules

T. Girndt

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    323 Downloads (Pure)


    With greater levels of international cooperation, work-groups are increasingly composed of members from different cultures. These groups often suffer from communication problems; however, research suggests that they also benefit from their members cultural diversity and generate higher ranges of problem perspectives. This thesis investigates two questions: first, when do diverse groups generate a higher range of perspectives; second, which skill do group members need to benefit from cultural diversity? In order to investigate the conditions for diversity benefits, student groups of high national diversity were compared with student groups of low national diversity while working together creating a new game. Empirical findings suggest, first, cultural diversity inhibits idea generation in the initial stage; second, cultural diversity affects communication much less then expected, and, third, the absence of communication difficulties is no sufficient condition for achieving the diversity benefits. The author concludes that without training, group members have difficulty detecting cultural differences that could lead to greater idea variation. Hence, the second part of the thesis proposes a training method for the skill to detect cultural differences. An evaluation study of the training method comparing trained with un-trained students supports the effectiveness of the training method.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Tilburg University
    • Noorderhaven, Niels, Promotor
    • Poortinga, Ype, Promotor
    Award date6 Dec 2000
    Place of PublicationTilburg
    Print ISBNs9056680757
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


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