2019 Volume 31 Issue 1-2 Pages 33-55
This study looked at how team-level processes (communication) affected team-level outcomes (participation in decision making and team creativity) and individual-level outcomes (stress and satisfaction) for Chinese people who used either their native language or a foreign language, Japanese, in taskrelated team settings. An experimental study was conducted with a sample of 54 teams of Chinese students (N = 222) majoring in the Japanese language. All participants were randomly assigned to either the control group (native language condition) or the experimental group (foreign language condition). The results indicated that the use of a foreign language in team situations tended to lead to lower communication and participation in decision making at the team level, and higher stress and lower satisfaction at the individual level. Moreover, we found that communication mediated the relationships between language and the two team-level outcomes; and member stress mediated the relationship between language and member satisfaction. Cross-level moderating effects of team-level participation in decision making on the individual-level relationship between foreign language and individual outcomes were also found. Specifically, the positive (negative) effect of using a foreign language on stress (satisfaction) became more pronounced as the level of participation in decision making increased.