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Managing Cognitive and Cultural Diversity in Global IT Teams

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2 Author(s)
Jablokow, K. ; Sch. of Grad. Prof. Studies, Eng. Div., Pennsylvania State Univ., Malvern, PA, USA ; Myers, M.

The challenges faced in global collaboration are often described in terms of logistical issues (e.g., language, time, distance) and issues related to observed workplace differences, which are frequently attributed to the influence of national culture. In this paper, we suggest that another less visible but equally important factor is at work - namely, cognitive diversity, or differences in the preferred ways in which individuals solve problems. In bringing to light key findings related to this additional factor, we review and integrate core concepts from Hofstede's cultural diversity research and Kirton's cognitive diversity research, respectively. This enables us to explore the potential causes of team conflict from a broader perspective and to create a more comprehensive view of diversity management in general. In addition, we will discuss practical strategic approaches for mitigating both cultural and cognitive differences, making recommendations for their use in the context of global IT teams.

Published in:

Global Software Engineering (ICGSE), 2010 5th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

23-26 Aug. 2010