Cultural Differences in Decision Making in Project Teams.

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A Review of the Literature
The hypothesis guiding our
study is a simple one-Japanese students will report the use of decision processes and behaviour which are characteristic of a collectivistic culture, with an emphasis on the group and social context, whereas Australian Downloaded by [University of Cape Town Libraries] at 12:36 18 February 2013 CULTURE AND DECISION MAKING 39

students will report the use of decision processes characteristic of an individualistic culture.
The article’s main argument
is that group members use ‘national culture’ and ‘cultural diversity’ as tools to get organized, reproducing the truth effects of ‘cultural differences’. (Human Relations article) Much earlier work emphasized that…

As predicted, Japanstudents
reported greater use of decision processes or behaviours associated with the involvement and influence of others (“collateral role”), while Australian students reported greater use of decision proctsses associated with selfreliance and personal ability (“individual role”).

Decision making is a basic activity that can be found in all cultures. A review of the psychological literature concerning decision making reveals a variety of theoretical models, which attempt to prescribe rational decision making or to describe and explain failures to make rational decisions (for a review, see Abelson & Levi, 1985). However, with the possible exception of studies of organisational decision making (Misumi, 1984; Ouchi, 198 I), decision making in non-Western cultures has received little attention.

Janis and Mann (1977) proposed that having to make decisions is stressful. Drawing on the psychology of stress and its relationship to decisional conflict, they suggested that a major motive driving the behaviour of decision makers is a concern to reduce the stress and conflict aroused by having to make decisions (Gerard, 1967; MaM, Janis, & Chaplin, 1969). The conflict model of decision making proposed by Janis and...
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