In this article, the researchers found that people who belong to different cultural groups may consider a team player’s responsibilities differently. For example, U.S Americans and Chinese participants were shown to prefer a balance between task and social roles, whereas Korean participants were shown to prioritize tasks over social roles. A reason for this, as attributed by the authors, is that different cultures may emphasize tasks and social roles differently (Park et al., 2019).
Ruoxi thinks the implications of this study could be furthered by follow-up studies on the effect that heterogeneous perception of team player’s responsibilities might have on multicultural teams. Since many companies, and even school projects, incorporate peer reviews in evaluating individual teammate member’s contribution, the result of this study might have practical implications on how to conduct these peer reviews in multicultural teams. For instance, Ruoxi wonders if a multicultural team receives vague instructions on how to evaluate teammates, diversity within the team might decrease over time as members who hold different standards of performance receive an unfavorable evaluation from the majority of the team. Ruoxi recognizes that this hypothesis might be a long shot from the current study as many other factors, such as whether people contribute to teamwork in accordance with their own conception of a good teammate or the groups’ expectations, need to be tested. Nonetheless, her general hope is to see future studies complement the current research with more data on the relationship between cultural identity and group dynamics, backed by specific behaviors of the people studied in supplement to the interviews.
Alston is skeptical about the findings because he thinks it is problematic for the authors to overgeneralize the populations of people who are involved. People in the United States, Korea, and China are most likely all very different in the way they interact with their teams. Therefore, he thinks that it is quite unfair to attribute a certain characteristic to a whole group of people. Not only can overgeneralization result in the formation of stereotypes of individuals, but it can also deter people from branching out and trying new ways to work with their teams.
Dominique agrees with Alston that the authors did overgeneralize about the way each culture typically views “team player” performance. She thinks it would be interesting to expand this study, and see how diverse teams should interact with each other. With increased globalization and the increased use of virtual meetings, it is likely that more work teams will become more diverse and have people from different backgrounds and different cultures. If the study is true in their assumption that some cultures view the term “team player” in different ways than understanding that impact could benefit many work teams.
As for the implications of the study, we agree that this article reinforces the importance of having more diverse teams. From our experiences, we saw that groups work best when individual team members have different leadership styles. For example, if everyone in the group wants to constantly lead the discussion, they might clash in an argument. Therefore, if the results of the article were to be more credible, it would imply that we should encourage more diverse teams even more heavily.