Developing an Electronic Tool for Cross-Cultural Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CCSCW)
Vu, Jimmy M.
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There is a lack of tools available to support cross-cultural communication and collaboration. Current research is comprised of assessments of the need for better cross-cultural communication tools and discussions of simple guidelines for developing such a tool. Existing programs such as chat or video-conferencing have been altered to be used in a cross-cultural setting, but little data has been gathered on their effectiveness. There is a need, according to the literature in the field of Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), that cross-cultural tools be developed, researched, and comprehensively studied. The purpose of this research was to show that a simple cross-cultural communication tool can be developed to support electronic cross-cultural collaborations. BlissChat was developed in Virginia Techâ s Macroergonomics and Group Decision Systems Laboratory for this purpose. The dependent measures for the study consisted of the time of completion and errors committed. The experimental design was a 2 x 2 between factor design. The factors were divided into a concordant (same language culture) group versus a discordant (different language culture) group. The other independent variable was the environment, whether they used the communication tool BlissChat, or in the ideal setting of face-to- face (FtF). The two culture groups used were Chinese first language speakers and English first language speakers. Participants who used BlissChat were able to perform their tasks as accurately as those who met FtF by not committing significantly more errors (p<0.05), but they did not perform as efficiently. The participants using BlissChat did not perform as efficiently as those meeting FtF (p<0.05). It took participants using BlissChat much longer to perform their task than participants in FtF conditions (p<0.05). The consequence of these outcomes will effect both the current use as well as the future outcomes of CCSCW.
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