ERIC Number: EJ719318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Reference Count: 29
Power Distance and Group Dynamics of an International Project Team: A Case Study
Paulus, Trena M.; Bichelmeyer, Barbara; Malopinsky, Larissa; Pereira, Maura; Rastogi, Polly
Teaching in Higher Education, v10 n1 p43-55 Jan 2005
Project-based team activities are commonly used in higher education. Teams comprised of members from different national cultures can be faced with unique challenges during the creative process. Hofstede's (1991) cultural dimension of power distance was used to examine one such design team's intra- and inter-group interactions in a graduate-level educational technology course in the United States. This case study analysis utilized data from observations, participant interviews and a questionnaire to determine what impact power distance had on team process. Low power distance was one factor that enabled Team Alpha to avoid potential conflicts, conflicts they were not able to avoid with their partner team. Rather than viewing themselves as a group of four individuals from different cultures, Team Alpha members developed their own culture, one specifically in opposition to that of predominantly American student teams. A power distance stance was one component of this opposition.
Descriptors: Educational Technology, Group Dynamics, Creativity, Cultural Differences, Cross Cultural Training, Case Studies, Graduate Students, Conflict, Student Projects, Power Structure
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States