Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Many people of different cultural backgrounds work together in organizations either in multinational or local organizations. Most people in organizations however, ignore the potential that cultural diversity offers, either in the form of divergent ideas which result in more creative products or the incorporation of specific cultural knowledge in problem solving.;There are various approaches in the management of cultural diversity. One way is to focus upon the overall organizational climate regarding peoples' attitudes towards cultural diversity. Organizations could have parochial, ethnocentric or synergistic attitudes towards cultural difference. Another approach is to examine the organizational tasks for their cultural content so as to best fit people to the tasks.;This investigation compares the performance of homogeneous and heterogeneous groups exposed to either a synergistic or a parochial simulation. It also asks if different perceptions about cultural content in tasks will influence group interaction and performance.;Synergistic and parochial thinking were encouraged through the creation of two different simulations in the laboratory. Groups homogeneous and heterogeneous were formed from the participants, who were mainly graduate students. They were given two tasks to perform; these tasks differed in peoples' perception of cultural content. Both involved greeting cards. Judges independently rated the cards made on creativity and cultural content.;Mainly nonparametric statistics were used in data analysis. It was found that group composition made a difference to the types of products generated. Group attitude towards other cultures also made a difference in the types of products generated.;There seemed to be different levels of awareness and understanding of cultural content in tasks across two tasks. When peoples' awareness of the cultural content is very high, even different simulations did not result in different behaviors by groups.



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