a Theoretical Model of Intercultural Small Groups: Understanding the
Effects of Culture and Cultural Diversity on Work Group Processes and
Demographic changes around the world have created an impetus for an increasing number of models to explain the effects of cultural diversity on work group effectiveness. In the current paper, group effectiveness is conceptualized as having both a task (e.g., productivity) and a relational (e.g., cohesiveness) component. It is argued that a culturally appropriate model of effectiveness for culturally diverse groups needs to have several features. First, the model needs to consider both task and relational effectiveness. Second, the model needs to identify how cultural values influence communication processes. Thus the model should be able to identify why process difficulty or loss occurs. Third, the model needs to identify how communication processes affect outcomes. A number of models of group effectiveness are described and evaluated. Based on the strengths and limitations of these previous models, a new model of effectiveness for culturally diverse groups is advanced. The face-negotiation model explains how situational and cultural factors influence the self- and other-face (or image) needs of individuals. The face-negotiation model argues that face needs affect the group processes which influence outcomes, and that effective diverse groups balance self- and other-face needs during interactions.
Key words: cultural diversity, group communication, group effectiveness
Psychologische Beiträge, Volume 41, 1999, p. 252-271
G. Oetzel, Ph.D.