In the face of the growing numbers of international students in the UK, many universities have encountered challenges to integrating them into the classroom and larger campus community. One strategy for combatting these difficulties is the use of group work. However, group work can also be challenging for students, particularly when they must work with diverse group members. One explanation for these challenges could be that cultural and personality traits influence human behaviour in group work in different ways, leading to mismatched expectations between group members.
In order to test this notion, we used Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and the Big Five Personality Dimensions to answer the important question: How do culture and personality traits influence the types of contributions that students make in group work? Our study is based on a lab activity in which 58 business school students participated, involving a Harvard Business School case study and using an online chat for communication. Our analysis suggests that cultural traits in particular influence and can predict student group work behaviours.