Can individualism enhance student task group performance?

Caroline Kamau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

There is literature arguing that the most important variations in individualism or collectivism are variations within cultures, rather than variations between cultures. It has been suggested that people or groups within a culture vary in the degree to which they have, say, an individualistic orientation. Some researchers have also argued that individualism in groups can be beneficial for group performance, because it improves decision-making and reduces process losses. Studies were conducted to investigate the predictors of student group performance in a British university. Study 1 (N=52) explored the impact of co-ordination, group cohesion, collectivism and individualism on group performance. Regression analysis found that co-ordination and individualism were the significant predictors of group performance, accounting for 25.7 (ongoing) used a different cohort of students and used more extensive measures of individualism, alongside improved measures of group cohesion and co-ordination (including leadership style). Group members? individualistic orientation was measured, and in addition the individualistic orientation of each group was measured (e.g. in terms of task division). It was hypothesised that, like study 1, individualism should be one of the strongest predictors of group performance. These findings and the role of the wider British cultural setting, which is generally described as an example of an individualistic society, will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXXth Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, 7-11 July 2010, Melbourne, Australia
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

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