Making Multicultural Group-Work, Work!
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This exploratory research aimed to answer the question, of 'how can the potential benefits of multicultural group-work be realised in the postgraduate management classroom?' Postgraduate management students at an Australian University experienced multicultural group-work through a completing a specific course module designed to enhance multicultural group functioning. The module centred around a group presentation project requiring students to draw on the cultural resources within their group. Sixty-two students then evaluated their experience of multicultural group-work in the course through nine focus groups using the nominal group method. The focus groups asked students what they learned from working in a multicultural group in the course; what is important in working culturally diverse group; and what did they learn about other people's culture through the multicultural group experience. Students' answers emphasised that successful multicultural group-work needed members to have certain attitudes such as respecting other people's culture, personality traits such as patience and openness, skills such as building team work or integration and knowledge relating to understanding the culture of others. These answers were contrary to the expectation that students would emphasise the importance of relevant group processes. This research provides guidance for faculty in overcoming challenges and provides an example of how to tap the benefits of multicultural group work in the multicultural classroom.
The Academy of Management
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Business and Management not elsewhere classified