University of Oulu

Culturally diverse students’ conflict experiences and management strategies : a mixed-method study of intercultural collaborative learning

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Author: Nakata, Azusa1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Pages: 67
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Nakata, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-22
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Vuopala, Essi
Weinberger, Armin
Reviewer: Vuopala, Essi
Lutovac, Sonja
Wang, Lijuan


As educational practice has been shifting more collaborative and intercultural, the need for facilitating culturally diverse learners becomes more evident. This study aims to get a better understanding of conflict situations among culturally diverse learners during collaborative learning. The participants were students in international Master’s degree programs in the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu (N=55). The data were collected through an online survey including Likert scale questions to examine the relationships between cultural aspects and conflict management styles, and open-ended questions to investigate the participants’ conflict experiences and management strategies. The quantitative results only confirmed the correlation between the individualism index and dominating conflict management style (p=.011) when excluding a certain group (Finland) that showed divergent results. In the qualitative analysis, many participants reported conflict factors associated with a lack of respect for other members, especially a member’s dominating behavior. The results also show that the participants from individualistic cultures valued more active discussion. They frequently used direct approaches such as explaining own point and asking others to express themselves to resolve conflicts. In contrast, the participants from collectivistic cultures, especially Asian participants, valued more organized work and equal participation. They frequently used indirect approaches such as considering others and not expressing own feelings to avoid conflicts. In conclusion, the findings of the study provide some insights into the research field of intercultural collaborative learning, which is required for future education to support culturally diverse learners.

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Copyright information: © Azusa Nakata, 2020. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.