Intercultural Groups and Visual Collaborative Systems: Increasing Structuring to Improve Precision

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract Group meetings are challenging, especially when groups have high cultural diversity. The use of visual templates (e.g., concept maps) has proved to be useful in supporting groups. This study investigates if visual templates – printed on paper or embedded in collaborative systems - lead to increased task precision in culturally diverse (vs. homogenous) face-to-face group meetings. Building on theories of structuration, we argue that visual templates loaded onto collaborative systems provide a higher structuration as compared to the same templates printed on paper, in that the digital provides stronger guidance for the group interaction. We hypothesize a moderating effect of the structuration imposed by the support and the cultural diversity of the group on task precision. The results of 229 managers from 49 countries confirm that facilitating groups with a visual support embedded into a collaborative system significantly increases task precision of both homogeneous and intercultural groups. Conversely, a paper based version of the same visual support is not able to structure the group interaction enough in intercultural settings, providing an advantage only for homogeneous groups. This study extends studies of technology structuration (Poole & DeSanctis, 1990) to visual supports and shows that the contingency factor of group cultural diversity is a significant mediator. It also adds to theory demonstrating that the degree of structuration imposed by the support interacts with the amount of cultural diversity in a group. Implications are relevant for managerial practice, indicating that a visualization embedded in a collaborative system is an effective technology for increasing task precision in face-to-face meetings, especially in culturally diverse groups.
Authors Bresciani, Sabrina & Comi, Alice
Language English
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 11 August 2015
Publisher Academy of Management
Title of Book ACAD MANAGE PROC January 2015 2015 (Meeting Abstract Supplement) 17768
Event Title 75th Academy of Management Annual Meeting (AOM) 2015 "Opening Governance"
Event Location Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Event Dates 07.-11.08.2015
Publisher DOI
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Sabrina Bresciani
Date Deposited 18 Mar 2015 10:02
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:24


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Bresciani, Sabrina & Comi, Alice: Intercultural Groups and Visual Collaborative Systems: Increasing Structuring to Improve Precision. 2015. - 75th Academy of Management Annual Meeting (AOM) 2015 "Opening Governance". - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

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