Title: "Embracing Cultural Diversity: Online Social Ties in Distributed Workgroups"

Abstract:  "Cross-cultural network ties have been shown to improve decision-making, creativity, conflict-resolution and use of collaborative technologies. Nevertheless, cultural barriers are difficult to overcome. We used data from an internal Social Networking System (SNS) in a large global company to see if membership in the same company might reduce the effect of cultural homophily. We found no effect. However, when we focused on members of 87 distributed workgroups, we found that the effect of cultural differences actually reversed, indicating greater cultural diversity in online friendship ties than observed in the company at large. We discuss alternative explanations for this finding and the implications for work environments in global companies."