Research Critical Analysis Essay

1826 Words Dec 25th, 2012 8 Pages
Journal Article Evaluation: Barinaga, E. (2007) ‘Cultural diversity’ at work: ‘National culture’ as a discourse organizing an international project group, Human Relations, 60(2):
315-340.
Ester Barinaga’s paper on multinational work teams and how they organize themselves using ‘national culture’ and ‘cultural diversity’ as discursive resources is critically discussed, with special attention paid to the limitations of her research approach. This review proceeds as follows. First, the theoretical framework is briefly outlined in which Barinaga embeds the specific angle of her research project. Then follows a critical description of the international team she followed, her chosen method of observation and the findings she presents.
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Bryman, 2008). She herself acknowledges this, saying that it actually constituted an advantage as it gave her access to additional information.

Regrettably, her observations were limited to a group that consisted of only five different nationalities restricted to Europeans and US-Americans (i.e. “Westerners”), excluding Asians, Latin Americans, etc.
Barinaga justifies her choice of a group doing academic research rather than a corporate work group by referring to the additional variety in backgrounds, such as theoretical backgrounds and academic fields, added in this type of setting. Both these issues, however, raise the question how transferable her findings are to differently composed groups and different settings.

Findings and Conclusions
In her body of collected data, Barinaga sees her claim confirmed that ‘national culture’ is used as a discursive resource in everyday group life. She found there to be two main interconnected processes wherein group members turn to ‘cultural differences’ to organize their team and points out a number of strategies team members followed.

On the one hand, actors seek distinction and define their individual worth within the project, i.e. members refer to ‘cultural differences’ in

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