Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cross-cultural perspective can help teamwork in the workplace

Date:
August 10, 2010
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
In this era of globalization, many companies are expanding into numerous countries and cultures. But they should not take a "one size fits all" approach to their business and management styles. As the authors of a new article point out, people in different cultures think about work in different ways. Being aware of the cultural environment that their coworkers come from may help people work together better.

In this era of globalization, many companies are expanding into numerous countries and cultures. But they should not take a "one size fits all" approach to their business and management styles. As the authors of a new article in a special section on Culture and Psychology in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, point out, people in different cultures think about work in different ways. Being aware of the cultural environment that their coworkers come from may help people work together better.

For example, people have different expectations about teamwork, says Cristina B. Gibson, of the University of Western Australia, who cowrote the paper with Dana M. McDaniel, of the University of California, Irvine. Gibson has interviewed people to understand how they conceptualize teams. "In the United States, people used a lot of sports metaphors. Elsewhere, that just wasn't a common metaphor." In Latin America, for example, many people talked about the work team as a family. "If you just use those two contrasts and think about what you might expect from your family versus what you might expect from your sports team, you start to see the differences." Families are involved in all parts of your life, and are expected to celebrate with you socially. "Your involvement in your sports team is more limited. Less caretaking, more competitive."

Another example is in the realm of leadership. Many people assume that charismatic leadership is a good thing -- using a strong personality to inspire loyalty in others. But that's not going to work for everyone, Gibson says. "The very same behaviors that are deemed desirable from a leader in one culture might be viewed as interference or micromanagement in other settings."

The main point is that employers and researchers should question assumptions, says Gibson. "We're just saying, 'hey, wait a minute.' Particularly in a work setting, organizations, teams, and individuals may have different values and preferences." And as this research continues, she says, people should consider that cultures can vary a lot within countries, too, especially as large numbers of people continue to migrate between countries. "We can't make these assumptions that everybody in the United States is like this and everybody in China is like that."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Cross-cultural perspective can help teamwork in the workplace." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122041.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2010, August 10). Cross-cultural perspective can help teamwork in the workplace. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122041.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Cross-cultural perspective can help teamwork in the workplace." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122041.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins