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Page history last edited by n.schadewitz@... 15 years, 3 months ago


Cross-cultural Collaboration 



How do you support intercultural teamwork?


I hope this wiki can animate you to share your observations (problems and success stories) in cross-cultural collaboration. The wiki offers a collection of design patterns supporting intercultural distributed collaboration. These observations were made in design learning environments. I beleive that some design patterns might have a broader applicability beyond the learning or design domain.


My PhD research identified successful solutions to supporting cross-cultural collaboration in design learning environments. Each pattern consists of a Name and Ranking (* to ***), Thumnail, Cultural Context and original Context the pattern is set in. It describes a Brakdown in collaboration, the Problem and Forces that ar ein conflict and lead to a certain Solution addressing the problem. Reasons Why the solution works a Resulting Context and References are given at the end. Not all patterns follow the same format. I modify the format while I am editing and developing the contents.


What you can do.


I believe that everyone who has been involved in cross-cultural collaboration made observations, and can offer examles or ideas that extend this network of patterns. Feel free to add your views, explanations or examples in any of those sections or add a new observation as new page. Use your experiences from international teamwork, experiments and research you have done to extend this collection. I am particularily looking for verficiations or falsifications of patterns in other cultural and professional settings. If you worked in international teams or observed such collaboration, please add your experiences here. So far the collection of design patterns includes:


pattern network  



01 GRAND OPENING A grand project opening makes participants aware of the importance of the project, connects them emotionally with the international learning community and provides an opportunity for first coordination among the distributed local teams. This pattern was observed to work well in Hong Kong/Korean and Hong Kong/Taiwanese collaborations, but not in Hong Kong/Austrian collaboration.



02 COMMUNITY WATCH Watching activities in an international community online portal supports the awareness and coordination of community relevant information and actions in geographically and culturally-dispersed teams. This pattern was recurrently observed in Hong Kong/Korean collaboration. It was not necessary to support community watch in Hong Kong/Taiwanese collaboration because community coordination was achieved by frequent chat conversations.



03 INTERNATIONAL HOME A virtual group home supports storing and sharing of local design representations, and asynchronous creating and modifying of design ideas among distributed learning teams. This pattern was successfully used to support Hong Kong/Korean, Hong Kong/Austrian and Hong Kong/Taiwanese design learning teams. It might be considered a universal solution.



04 STRUCTURED CHAT A synchronous computer-mediated chat based on design ideas and representations keeps the discussion among culturally diverse collaborators focused. This pattern was observed in Hong Kong/Korean and Hong Kong/Taiwanese collaboration. It was not used in Hong Kong/Austrian collaboration.



05 SUMMING UP Frequent summaries of discussions online or among local team members and with local tutors allow the global virtual team to gain a common understanding of the local and global design project process, tasks, ideas and open problems to solve in following conversations. This pattern was observed in Hong Kong/Korean and Hong Kong/Taiwanese collaboration, but not in Hong Kong Austrian collaboration.



06 MOOD OF THE MOMENT Support the awareness of implicitly conveyed important message contents with emotional value through visual communication means. This pattern was observed in collaboration between Hong Kong and Korea and Hong Kong and Taiwan, but only partially in teamwork among Hong Kong and Austria.



07 ANNOTATED DESIGN GALLERY  An annotated design gallery supports sharing and interpreting locally implemented design variations. This pattern was observed to work well in Hong Kong/Korean, Taiwanese and Austrian contexts. It might be considered a universal solution.



08 WHO WHEN WHAT Allowing the structuring online information by User ID, Date and Time and Content Summary bridges cultural differences in managing online contents. This pattern was observed to be successful in Hong Kong/Korean, Taiwanese and Austrian contexts. It might be considered an universal solution.



09 LOCAL VARIATIONS Implementing local variations of a globally shared design concept or idea facilitates the development of a shared understanding in cross-cultural collaborative design learning. This pattern was observed in Hong Kong/Korean and Hong Kong/Taiwanese design collaboration. This solution was not employed in Hong Kong/Austrian collaboration because the collaborative task did not afford local implementations on both sides.



10 GLOBAL RESOLUTION Visually and verbally supported synchronous text chat tutorials help in gaining common ground among culturally diverse distributed learning teams and their local tutors. This design pattern was used in collaboration between Hong Kong and Korea, and Hong Kong and Taiwan, but not in Hong Kong/Austrian collaboraiton.



11 GRAND FINALE Celebrate the final, virtually mediated project presentation like an important ceremony.This pattern was used in the context of Hong Kong/Korean, Hong Kong/Austrian and Hong Kong/Taiwanese collaboration. 



There are also some design pattern hypotheses, which are non-evaluated parts of the design patterns network.


AUTHORITY SAYS Asynchronous instructional feedback from all local tutors supports the coordination of design learning in international global virtual teams.


GRAFFITI WALL Synchronous communication using an electronic whiteboard or drawing tool helps to develop a free flow of ideas.


KNOW ME BETTER The exchange of work-based and personal information about a team member before collaboration starts raises awareness about a members background and assists the distribution of roles and tasks based on interest or ability.


LOCAL CO-ACTIVITY  Indicating events happening in physical space helps members of a global virtual team to gain awareness of other member's parallel local activities, which can assist in coordination of team tasks.


LOCAL CORNER  Local teams enjoy a private space where they can discuss in their local language and more openly to gain synergy before talking to their international partners.


READY STEADY GO Having all possible computer-supported collaboration tools ready to use at the beginning of the design pro ject (in the collocated workshop) allows for a smooth collaboration start.


SLOW THINKING Providing asynchronous communication means supports users who want to refelct more in-depth before givng an reply to the collaborators' request.






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