Understanding the Effectiveness of Cross-Cultural Video-Mediated Communication
People are increasingly using advanced communication technologies such as videoconferencing to collaborate across geographical boundaries and time zones. This presents problems because cultural values, attitudes, and behaviours influence how a given group of people perceives, understands, communicates and interprets information and knowledge. This study explores how various factors including technology and cultural differences of participants affect their perceptions of the effectiveness of cross-cultural communication in videoconferences. The study identifies factors that most influence the effectiveness of cross-cultural video-mediated communication. It will help practitioners to: 1) make efficient use of resources while designing and facilitating videoconferences; and 2) incorporate cultural factors in assessing the effectiveness of cross-cultural distance learning events. The study is situated in the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) which spans the world with more than 120 distance learning centres and facilitates communication for development through videoconferencing technology. A multiple-case cross-cultural study has been carried out in GDLN affiliates located in four countries: Australia, Mongolia, New Zealand and Russia. Evidence for this case study comes from observations during videoconferences, semi-structured interviews with participants, documents and video recordings. This exploratory study contributes to the body of knowledge in three research domains: development communication through the videoconferencing channel; cross-cultural factors in video-mediated communication; and perceived effectiveness of videoconferencing.