Prior to the Internet, forms of social expression, communication, and collaborative behavior are known to be sensitive to cultural nuances. According to researcher Geert Hofstede (1991), a widely used definition of culture is proposed where “Every person carries within him or herself patterns of thinking, feeling, and potential acting which were learned through their lifetime” (p. 4). Hofstede referred to such patterns as mental programs or “software of the mind.” It is expected that such mental programming related to cultural differences will affect perceptions of the electronic medium as well (Raman & Watson, 1994). Related to the topic of this volume, culture has a place in the consideration of e-collaboration when individuals come together to work toward a common goal using electronic technologies. This may include various domains including e-business, e-learning, distributed project management, working in virtual teams of various forms, to name a few.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Culture: Patterns of thinking, feeling, and potential acting learned throughout a lifetime, and applicable to groups of people often from the same nation state.
E-Learning: Learning in groups or individually as facilitated by online interfaces.
E-Collaboration: Collaboration among individuals involved in a common task using electronic technologies.
Online Trust: A belief that an online user has confidence in a computer mediated experience.
Online Satisfaction: Positive attributions by a user toward an online system, service, or encounter.
User Interface: The use of technology to connect users in an online environment.