Do collectivist cultures prepare students for teamwork?

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 33 : Reshaping Higher Education

July, 2010, 654 pages
Published by
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg
0 908557 80 9

The study investigates differences between Australian and Chinese students on the attributes of teamwork in an entrepreneurship class. Questionnaires on teamwork were administered to students at the end of a semester during which they completed various team projects. Their responses were analysed by Chi-square and Spearman correlation tests. The findings revealed that Chinese students had greater appreciation of teamwork than Australian students, although Chinese students rated lower on the attributes of teamwork compared to Australian students. The findings also indicated that Australian students developed more of the attributes of teamwork the more collaboration required to complete the task while Chinese students gained from teamwork where the contribution from each member was assessed. The implications are that cultural dimensions must be considered in designing and implementing teamwork in cross-cultural classes.

Keywords: Australian, Chinese, team attributes