AbstractDrawing on Hofstede’s theory and research, this study examined the hypothesis that differences in cultural dimensions of individualism/collectivism and homogeneity/heterogeneity will influence the level of task performance and socialization.
Swedes (individualists) and Greeks (collectivists) were assigned to two separate groups. In the first phase of the experiment the two groups were homogenous – consisting of 3 participants from each of the cultures (3 Swedes, 3 Greeks). Their task was to put together a 54piece puzzle. Both homogenous groups were timed and observed separately. The next step was to bring in two heterogeneous (ethnically mixed) groups. For this purpose the size of each homogeneous group was increased to 6 participants by assigning one American, Canadian and German representative. Their task was to put together a larger, 300 piece puzzle within a certain time frame of 25minutes. Individual and group responses were measured using a fine-grained checklist. The hypotheses were: 1) Homogenous individualistic group would finish the task faster than the homogenous collectivistic group. 2) Heterogeneous individualistic group will finish the task faster than heterogeneous collectivistic group. 3) Collectivists will be more socially interactive than individualists. In this research hypotheses 1 and 3 were supported, whereas hypothesis 2 was not. The implications for future research are that individualism/collectivism and homogeneity/heterogeneity of a group may have an influence on group dynamics as it relates to task performance.