Observing culture: Differences in U.S.-American and German team meeting behaviors
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Although previous research has theorized about team interaction differences between the German and U.S. cultures (e.g., Hofstede, 2001), actual behavioral observations of such differences are sparse. This study explores team meetings as a context for examining intercultural differences, analyzing a total of 5188 meeting behaviors in German and U.S. student teams. All teams discussed the same task to consensus. Results from behavioral process analyses showed that Germans focused significantly more on problem analysis, whereas U.S. students focused more on solution production. Moreover, U.S. teams showed significantly more positive socioemotional meeting behavior than German teams. Finally, German teams showed significantly more counteractive behavior such as complaining than U.S. teams. Theoretical and pragmatic implications for understanding these observable differences and for improving interaction in intercultural teams are discussed.