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Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Intercultural Collaboration

Fullname:Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Intercultural Collaboration
Editors:Ravi Vatrapu; Vanessa Evers; K. B. Akhilesh; Bonnie Nardi; Martha Maznevski
Location:Bengaluru, India
Dates:2012-Mar-21 to 2012-Mar-23
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-0818-2; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: ICIC12
Links:Conference Website
Summary:We are pleased to present the technical program for the International Conference on Intercultural Collaboration, ICIC 2012. The call for papers resulted in 31 regular submissions and 9 latebreaking submissions from Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Latin America. The program committees accepted 15 regular papers and all late-breaking papers. In addition to these papers, the conference also included two keynote speakers and two panels. The members of the Program Committee and all of the reviewers are listed elsewhere in these proceedings. We are grateful for the careful attention they gave to the submissions and their hard work in making careful assessments on the submissions. We are delighted that so many people are willing to help it along.
    We hope that these proceedings, along with those from the previous conferences, will constitute a rich resource for those interested in intercultural collaboration. The diversity of topics demonstrates what a lively and growing area this is. We hope you find the program useful and inspirational as you engage the complex issues involved in intercultural collaboration. We welcome your presence and participation here in Bengaluru.
  1. Learning
  2. Bridging cultures
  3. Social media
  4. Intercultural communication
  5. Teams
  6. Work and home
  7. Intercultural communication, virtual teams, and technology


Global e-mentoring: overcoming virtual distance for an effective partnership BIBAFull-Text 1-10
  Nancy Philippart; Julia Gluesing
The benefits of being mentored to one's career development and advancement have been recognized both anecdotally and through academic research. A new model of mentoring enabled by technology that works not only across organizational but geographical and cultural boundaries has emerged to meet the needs of today's complex, fast changing, global workplace. Although e-mentoring has several advantages over traditional mentoring, the absence of regular face to face interactions requires different strategies to develop an effective partnership. Additional complexities arise when this virtual mentoring is global. This paper uses both participant observation and pilot data to develop a conceptual framework that examines intercultural collaboration issues and enablers in global e-mentoring partnerships. The framework is derived from Sobel Lojeski's [28] virtual distance model augmented with a new construct, cultural intelligence that more thoroughly explores the intercultural aspect of the partnerships. The authors also describe a more comprehensive, planned mixed-methods research study to validate the proposed e-mentoring conceptual model. This work makes an important contribution to the literature beyond the application to e-mentoring since one-on-one virtual collaboration is also an essential component for effective global leadership.
Building a Mexican startup culture over the weekends BIBAFull-Text 11-20
  Ruy Cervantes; Bonnie Nardi
In Mexico, a grass-roots community of entrepreneurs is working to transform the Internet industry from one that merely provides low value-added services to one that is innovation-based. To do so, it must create a culture that promotes innovation and startup companies. In countries such as China, Taiwan, and Israel a multitude of skilled returnees from Silicon Valley have established a community of startups. But in Mexico, entrepreneurs leverage their few relationships with Silicon Valley, and are learning from social media and foreign travels to recreate innovation practices at home. In this paper, we examine how this community of entrepreneurs used the Startup Weekend events to introduce new innovation practices in Mexico. At these events, participants shared their Internet product ideas and formed multidisciplinary teams that raced to create functional prototypes within the weekend. Startup Weekend worked as a catalyst for building a culture of innovation, the strengthening of the startup community, and in some cases the formation of startup companies. Participants primed themselves with business and technical knowledge. Entrepreneur communities formed in previous face-to-face events and through social media, served to create an environment of trust and sharing during and after each Startup Weekend event.

Bridging cultures

Sources of miscommunication in email: searching for contextual information in communication between Chinese and danish collaborators BIBAFull-Text 21-30
  Renée Korver Michan; Pernille Bjøorn
Based on an interpretative case study investigating the communication between Danish and Chinese engineers in a global medical engineering company, we identified four key sources of miscommunication: 1) lack of common communication protocols; 2) exclusion of participants; 3) political motives; and 4) misinterpretation of common terms. This paper posits that all four challenges are related to a lack of contextual information due to geographical dislocation and not, as initially assumed, to cultural differences. This finding is essential when investigating cross-cultural communication, because it suggests that we should not forget to examine ordinary communication issues when researching communication between people from different cultural backgrounds.
Bridging cultures via an online business simulation over different time zones BIBAFull-Text 31-38
  Iris Fischlmayr
The handling of culture in virtual multicultural teams is crucial for successful collaboration. As little is known about the different kinds and ways of its occurrence, individual participant reflections analyzed with Grounded Theory reveals its multifaceted influence directly in the field. The article introduces the online business simulation VIBu RealGame&™, which helps to overcome cultural differences as well as to acquire skills required for virtual multicultural teamwork. This form of experiential learning is unique in a way that it provides the opportunity to undergo the challenges of time zone coordination, virtual communication and collaboration, and furthermore allows applying and reflecting about the acquired skills immediately.

Social media

Using social networks for multicultural creative collaboration BIBAFull-Text 39-46
  Foad Hamidi; Melanie Baljko
Social networks can facilitate creative dialogue between participants whose geographical, cultural and social circumstances normally does not allow for such exchanges. In this paper, we present a case study of a collaborative process in which 19 participants from around the world created the multimedia, multi-language poem, "Our Digital Tapestry", on the Facebook social network. We identify and discuss the affordances of this platform with respect to support for play, control, diversity, inclusion of hypertext and multimedia, communication and relationship exploration. We also identify several restrictions of the medium that affected the project.
Supporting collaboration in Wikipedia between language communities BIBAFull-Text 47-56
  Ranjitha Gurunath Kulkarni; Gaurav Trivedi; Tushar Suresh; Miaomiao Wen; Zeyu Zheng; Carolyn Rose
This paper describes an application of machine translation technology for supporting collaboration in Wikipedia. Wikipedia hosts separate language Wikipedias for hundreds of different languages. While some content is specific to these different versions of Wikipedia, some topics have pages within multiple different Wikipedias. Similarly, while some users participate only in one Wikipedia, we find users who play a bridging role between these sub-communities and participate in the process of maintaining similar pages in different Wikipedias. Since these are not the majority of users, a support tool that allows stretching the effort of these specialized users further by indicating where their effort is needed could be a tremendous benefit to the community. An evaluation of the proposed approach demonstrates promise that such a tool could substantially reduce the effort involved in playing this bridging role on Wikipedia.
Analysis of discussion contributions in translated Wikipedia articles BIBAFull-Text 57-66
  Ari Hautasaari; Toru Ishida
Translation of articles in Wikipedia is one of the most prominent methods for increasing the quality of different language Wikipedias. Discussion pages in Wikipedia contribute to a large portion of the online encyclopedia, and are used by Wikipedia contributors for communication and collaboration. Although the discussion pages are the main channel between Wikipedia contributors all over the world, there have been relatively few in-depth studies conducted on communication in Wikipedia, especially regarding translation activities. This paper reports the results of an analysis of discussions about translated articles in the Finnish, French and Japanese Wikipedias. The results highlight the main problems in Wikipedia translation requiring interaction with the community. Unlike in previous work, community interaction in Wikipedia translation activities focuses on solving problems in the translation of proper nouns, transliteration and citing sources in articles rather than mechanical translation of words and sentences. Based on these findings we propose directions for designing supporting tools for Wikipedia translators.

Intercultural communication

Computational representation of discourse practices across populations in task-based dialogue BIBAFull-Text 67-76
  Elijah Mayfield; David Adamson; Alexander Rudnicky; Carolyn Penstein Rosé
In this work, we employ quantitative methods to describe the discourse practices observed in a direction giving task. We place a special emphasis on comparing differences in strategies between two separate populations and between successful and unsuccessful groups. We isolate differences in these strategies through several novel representations of discourse practices. We find that information sharing, instruction giving, and social feedback strategies are distinct between subpopulations in empirically identifiable ways.
Studying the influence of culture in global software engineering: thinking in terms of cultural models BIBAFull-Text 77-86
  Hina Shah; Nancy J. Nersessian; Mary Jean Harrold; Wendy Newstetter
Culture appears to have a greater influence on software-engineering practice than originally envisioned. Many recent studies have reported that cultural factors greatly impact global software-engineering (GSE) practice. However, many of these studies characterize culture as a set of dimensions (e.g., Hofstede's), which significantly limits the meaning of culture. In this paper, we discuss the limitations of such a dimensional approach to studying culture by highlighting the aspects of culture that such dimensions fail to capture. Next, we present the idea of thinking of culture in terms of cultural models (inspired by Shore's work), and illustrate this idea by presenting cultural models adopted by the software-engineering domain. Then, based on this idea of cultural models, we present a conceptual reference framework for studying the influence of culture in the global software-engineering setting. Finally, we present some examples that use this framework, which illustrates the benefits of such a framework for studying culture's influence on GSE practice.
Are you a trustworthy partner in a cross-cultural virtual environment?: behavioral cultural intelligence and receptivity-based trust in virtual collaboration BIBAFull-Text 87-96
  Ye Li; Hui Li; Alexander Mädche; Pei-Luen Patrick Rau
Globally distributed work has been prevalent in organizations. However, cultural issues in distributed work are still challenging team performance. Cultural intelligence, defined as individuals' capability to perform in cross-cultural settings, has great potential in untangling these issues. The present study examines three individual capabilities (behavioral cultural intelligence, language proficiency and technical skills) and their effects on partners' receptivity-based trust and satisfaction in a cross-cultural virtual environment. We develop a theoretical model based on the extended adaptive structuration theory (EAST) and verify the model in a cross-border experiment. The result suggests that focal members' behavioral cultural intelligence strongly influences their remote partners' receptivity/trust. This effect is moderated by language proficiency; 57% of the variance of partners' satisfaction is predicted by receptivity/trust and the focal members' technical skills.


Trust and surprise in distributed teams: towards an understanding of expectations and adaptations BIBAFull-Text 97-106
  Ban Al-Ani; Erik Trainer; David Redmiles; Erik Simmons
Trust can be defined in terms of one party's expectations of another, and the former's willingness to be vulnerable based on those expectations. Surprise results from a failure to meet expectations, which can influence trust. We conducted an empirical study of surprises stemming from cultural differences in distributed teams and their influence on trust. Our study findings provide two primary contributions. First, we find that trust judgments in culturally diverse teams are made from accumulated experiences that involve a sequence of cultural surprise, attribution, formulation of new expectations, and the application of adaptations in new situations. Second, we document adaptations that individuals develop to avoid future surprises and which ultimately helped them to improve their sense of trust towards others. In general, our findings contribute to the existing body of work by providing evidence of how people attribute specific cultural surprises, the impact on their sense of trust and adaptations.
Offshoring attitudes and relational behaviours in German-Indian offshoring collaborations: reflections from a field study BIBAFull-Text 107-118
  Angelika Zimmermann
Offshoring arrangements have become a common setting for intercultural collaborations. There is ample evidence that the success of these offshoring arrangements is influenced on the relational behaviours between offshore and onshore colleagues. However, it has not been questioned whether and how the attitudes that onshore colleagues hold towards offshoring affect their relational behaviours towards offshore colleagues. This paper draws together the literatures on offshoring and transnational teams, to argue for the importance of offshoring attitudes. It presents a qualitative case study examining the offshoring attitudes of German IT developers working with Indian colleagues in an Indian subsidiary of the firm. The inquiry revealed that respondent's offshoring attitudes were associated with their relational behaviours towards Indian offshore colleagues, namely whether Germans treated their Indian colleagues as fellow team members or as mere suppliers, how much effort they spent in communicating and transferring knowledge, and whether they supported or avoided the transfer of tasks to India. Importantly, these relational behaviours also had a reverse effect on the German's offshoring attitudes, creating vicious and virtuous circles of offshoring attitudes and relational behaviours. Certain departmental context factors were identified to explain the differences in offshoring attitudes and resulting vicious and virtuous circles. The findings demonstrate that researchers and practitioners have to pay more attention to offshoring attitudes in order to better understand relational behaviours between onshore and offshore members, and thereby achieve more successful offshoring collaborations.

Work and home

Domestic artefacts: sustainability in the context of Indian middle class BIBAFull-Text 119-128
  Dhaval Vyas
Sustainability has become one of the important research topics in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). However, the majority of work has focused on the Western culture. In this paper, we explore sustainable household practices in the developing world. Our research draws on the results from an ethnographic field study of household women belonging to the so-called middle class in India. We analyze our results in the context of Blevis' [4] principles of sustainable interaction design (established within the Western culture), to extract the intercultural aspects that need to be considered for designing technologies. We present examples from the field that we term "domestic artefacts". Domestic artefacts represent creative and sustainable ways household women appropriate and adapt used objects to create more useful and enriching objects that support household members' everyday activities. Our results show that the rationale behind creating domestic artefacts is not limited to the practicality and usefulness, but it shows how religious beliefs, traditions, family intimacy, personal interests and health issues are incorporated into them.

Intercultural communication, virtual teams, and technology

An exploratory analysis of effective Indo-Korean collaboration with intervention of knowledge mapping BIBAFull-Text 129-132
  Indumathi Anandarajan; Akhilesh K. B. Akhilesh
This paper presents an intervention of knowledge mapping towards effective Indo-Korean collaboration.
Knowing me knowing you: exploring effects of culture and context on perception of robot personality BIBAFull-Text 133-136
  Astrid Weiss; Betsy van Dijk; Vanessa Evers
We carry out a set of experiments to assess collaboration between human users and robots in a cross-cultural setting. This paper describes the study design and deployment of a video-based study to investigate task-dependence and cultural-background dependence of the personality trait attribution on a socially interactive robot. In Human-Robot Interaction, as well as in Human-Agent Interaction research, the attribution of personality traits towards intelligent agents has already been researched intensively in terms of the social similarity or complementary rule. We assume that searching the explanation for personality trait attribution in the similarity and complementary rule does not take into account important contextual factors. Just like people equate certain personality types to certain professions, we expect that people may have certain personality expectations depending on the context of the task the robot carries out. Because professions have different social meaning in different national culture, we also expect that these task-dependent personality preferences differ across cultures. Therefore, we suggest an experiment that considers the task-context and the cultural-background of users.
Now that's news: substitution and culture in electronic newspaper adoption in Scandinavia BIBAFull-Text 137-140
  Nicolai Pogrebnyakov; Mikael Buchmann
This paper investigates the intent to use electronic newspaper in three Scandinavian countries. It explores the influence of perceived technology substitution, cultural factors as well as perceived ease of use and usefulness. Electronic newspaper is seen as a substitute to the printed kind that is distributed digitally on e-reader platforms. The data came from 1804 surveys administered in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The results indicate that perceived substitution is the most important driver behind the intent to use of electronic newspaper, while culture has little or no effect. These results contribute to the nascent research on how the superiority of perceived substitutive functionality of one technological artifact over another may lead to the adoption of the superior artifact. It also calls into question the role of culture in technology adoption.
A conceptual framework of information learning and flow in relation to websites' information architecture BIBAFull-Text 141-144
  Ather Nawaz
Culture, information learning of users and knowledge domain shapes the experience of flow while interacting with websites' information architecture. This paper presents a conceptual framework of information learning and flow through extending person-artefact-task model. The paper attempts to relate the experience of flow when interacting with websites to information learning and website information architecture within the domain of HCI and usability.
Networks in equity and sustainability: a preliminary tool for intercultural analysis and discussion BIBAFull-Text 145-148
  Arlene Ducao; Alexander Simoes; Ilias Koen; Henry Holtzman; Cesar Hidalgo
Some of the world's most pressing problems can be traced to inequity between people, both in the present and over time. Long periods of inequity can lead to both social and environmental degradation. In its 2011 Human Development Report (HDR), the United Nations incisively examines some of the complex relationships between socioeconomic equity and environmental sustainability. Members of the MIT Media Lab and The DuKode Studio created "Networks in Equity and Sustainability", a visualization tool that shows, via a network graph, how nations are multi-dimensionally linked. Examining linkages with this tool can illuminate potential partnerships between cultures. As the tool is expanded in the future, it will support intercultural discussions in the global effort for a world that is more equal today and more sustainable over time.
Cultural differences across governmental website design BIBAFull-Text 149-152
  Nitesh Goyal; William Miner; Nikhil Nawathe
In this paper, we study the relevance of Hall and Hofstede's works to the web design beyond traditional domain areas like e-commerce, and advertising. Existing theories explain how design may be affected by cultural differences, and we explore how those differences can be seen in the government website design across Brazil, Russia, India, China, and US. We describe our findings confirming that differences exist, more so between China and US than the rest, and point out where cultural theories fail to explain the results, in particular for Brazil, Russia and India and finally, focus more on the differences between China and US.
Detecting value differences behind intercultural meetings BIBAFull-Text 153-156
  Naomi Yamashita; Hideaki Kuzuoka
Even when people participate in the same meeting and reach a consensus, their interpretations of its content might be quite different due to different cultural backgrounds, roles, values, and so on. This could be problematic later when people realize that discrepancies exist between their recognized roles and others' expectations; they might have different understandings and/or priorities. It would be quite beneficial if we could notice such differences soon after meetings. In this paper, we propose a method that enables us to detect such discrepancies among attendees.
An intercultural study of HCI education experience and representation BIBAFull-Text 157-160
  Jose Abdelnour-Nocera; Mario Michaelides; Ann Austin; Sunila Modi
The discipline of human-computer interaction has become a subject taught across universities around the world, outside of the cultures where it originated. However, the intercultural implication of its assimilation into the syllabus of courses offered by universities around the world remains under-researched. The purpose of this ongoing research project is to provide insights for these implications in terms of the student and teacher experience of HCI. How this subject is socially represented across the different universities studied is a key question. In order to develop intercultural awareness of these questions universities from UK, Denmark, Namibia, Mexico and China are collaborating in a multiple case study involving students and lecturers engaged in evaluation and design tasks. Findings will then be used to propose an international HCI curriculum more supportive of design for intercultural collaboration. This paper describes the initial steps of this study and some preliminary findings from Namibia.