DIFFERENCE MATTERS: CULTURE AND CONFLICT IN GLOBAL VIRTUAL TEAMS
12 Feb 2019 Tuesday, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
COM2 Level 4
Executive Classroom, COM2-04-02
The interaction between culture and conflict shapes the outcomes of virtual teams. Individuals are simultaneously influenced by at least three distinct cultures: the culture of their social demographic, the culture of their organization, and the culture of their nation/geographic region. We used a laboratory experiment to study conflict in global virtual teams whose members were drawn from different social demographics, different organizations, and different nations. We studied both manifested and perceived conflict in the teams. An individual member's perception of task conflict was influenced by national culture and organizational culture but not demographic culture. US residents perceived more conflict than Indian residents for a given amount of actual manifested conflict. Likewise, for a given amount of actual manifested conflict, the perception of conflict was lower in teams with members drawn from different organizations than in teams with members from the same organization. This suggests that team members drawn from different organizations may ascribe some aspects of task conflict to differing organizational cultures rather than being true task conflict. We also find that individual member's perception of task conflict is influenced by his/her conflict management behavior.
Souren Paul is currently an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the College of Engineering and Computing at Nova Southeastern University. His research interests are in areas of virtual teams, collaboration systems, behavioral information security, and augmented intelligence. He has published research articles in Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, and Information & Management. He served as Conference Co-Chair for Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) 2015 which was held in Puerto Rico. He will co-chair the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2020. He is the Adviser for External Development for the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS).