Effects of Multicultural Teamwork on Individual Procrastination

Ruti Gafni, Anat Goldstein
Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning  •  Volume 16  •  2020  •  pp. 043-063

The purpose of this study is to discover usage differences in task performance by students of different cultures, by examining procrastination patterns from a national cultural perspective and exploring the effect of multicultural virtual teamwork on students’ individual procrastination.

This study aims to examine higher-education entrepreneurial learning in the context of multicultural virtual teamwork, as performed during participation on a Global Entrepreneurship course.

The methodology consists of quantitative comparative data analytics preceding and subsequent to intercultural team activities. This research is based on analyses of objective data collected by Moodle, the LMS used in the In2It project, in its built-in log system from the Global Entrepreneurship course website, which offers students diverse entities of information and tasks. In the examined course, there were 177 participants, from three different countries: United Kingdom, France and Israel. The students were grouped into 40 multicultural virtual (not face-to-face) teams, each one comprised of participants from at least two countries. The primary methodology of this study is analytics of the extracted data, which was transferred into Excel for cleaning purposes and then to SPSS for analysis.

This study aims to discover the effects of multicultural teamwork on individual procrastination while comparing the differences between cultures, as there are only a few studies exploring this relation. The uniqueness of this study is using and analyzing actual data of student procrastination from logs, whereas other studies of procrastination in multicultural student teams have measured perceived procrastination, collected using surveys.

The results show statistical differences between countries in procrastination of individual assignments before team working: students from UK were the most procrastinators and Israeli students were the least procrastinators, but almost all students procrastinated. However, the outcome of the teamwork was submitted almost without procrastination. Moreover, procrastination in individual assignments performed after finishing the multicultural teamwork dramatically decreased to 10% of the students’ prior individual procrastination.

The results from this study, namely, the decline of the procrastination after the multicultural virtual teamwork, can be used by global firms with employees all over the world, working in virtual multicultural teams. Such firms do not need to avoid multicultural teams, working virtually, as they can benefit from this kind of collaboration.

These results can be also beneficial for academic researchers from different cultures and countries, working together in virtual multicultural teams.

Understanding the positive effect of virtual multicultural teamwork, in mitigating the negative tendency of students from diverse cultures to procrastinate, as concluded in this study, can provide a useful tool for higher education or businesses to mitigate procrastination in teamwork processes. It can also be used as an experiential learning tool for improving task performance and teamwork process.

The relation between procrastination and motivation should be further examined in relation to multicultural virtual teams. Further research is needed to explore the effect of multicultural virtual teamwork during the teamwork process, and the reasoning for this effect.

procrastination, virtual teams, multicultural teams, individual procrastination
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