Cross-cultural study into ICT student attitudes and behaviours concerning teams and project work

Deborah Richards*, Ayse Bilgin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe a project involving information and communication technology (ICT) students in Australia and Singapore, working together as a virtual global team. The authors investigated the question: Can differences be found in the behaviours and attitudes of our two cohorts to working in teams? This would allow the authors to better manage the project and reflect on its success/failure. Design/methodology/approach: The authors ran a one semester cross-cultural software development project. An anonymous online survey measured three temporal dimensions commonly used in time-at-work studies and seven cultural dimensions. The results are discussed in the context of cohort behaviours, project outcomes/outputs and related literature. Findings: Differences were found along the temporal dimensions of punctuality, time boundaries and awareness of time use. While conformance with national cultural stereotypes was evident, only selected statements in the cultural dimensions showed significant differences. Some gender differences were also identified. Research limitations/implications: Generalizability beyond the domain of ICT students would need further investigation. Though larger numbers would strengthen the paper's claims, some statistically significant results show differences between Australian and Singaporean cohorts requiring further investigation. Practical implications: Education providers should carefully design, implement and monitor cross-cultural learning opportunities to prepare graduates to work in global teams. Originality/value: The project provided rare cross-cultural and virtual team experience and revealed that providing this experience is likely to be effort intensive for all parties, involve higher project and people risks but potentially deliver greater (life-long) learning gains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-35
Number of pages18
JournalMulticultural Education and Technology Journal
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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