The Effects of Cultural Value Alignment on Interpersonal Dynamics: The Similarity-Attraction Theory vs. The Attraction of the Opposites Theory
The study idea:
- Cultural differences are generally seen as a hindrance to collaboration
- Indeed, studies show that cultural differences lead to misunderstanding and conflicts, damage team cohesion, and make communication more difficult
- Notably, some research points out the benefits of cultural diversity for team creativity
- Conspicuously missing from this line of research is how cultural differences affect interactions among team members in terms their closeness and perceptions of one another.
- The present study explores if and how cultural value similarities affect interpersonal relationships and team dynamics.
- Namely, we test if and how:
- Individuals with similar cultural values (e.g., both score high on IND) interact more, feel closer to one another, have fewer conflicts, and evaluate each other performance higher.
- Teams where team members have more similar cultural values (e.g., small variation/SD in IND values) communicate more, have better team climate, become more acquainted with one another, score each other’s performance higher, have fewer conflicts, and ultimately produce better quality work.
- Complementarity vs. Attraction Hypotheses:
- It is possible that similarity along some value dimensions is more beneficial than along other dimensions.
- For example, people with a similar level of UA (uncertainty avoidance) will probably find comfort in each other’s company, will have more understanding and agreement, and perform better.
- In contrast, people with different levels of MAS (masculinity-femininity, achievement orientation, need to win) may work better together. The person with high achievement and dominance orientation will be a natural leader and others with low MAS orientation will be comfortable with tending to the group harmony.
- Further analyses also include:
Tests of how differences in age, work experience, or level of studies affect interpersonal dynamics and peer evaluations
Status: The study idea is still in development
Lead Author: Kerri A Brannen (email@example.com).
Collaboration/support: Vas Taras