Trust Building Within Multicultural Project Teams

Ekaterina Kalinichenko

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


Motivation: Teamwork is a prevailing form of organizing the work processes in modern organizations. Trust is considered one of the important elements of teamwork, especially in multicultural teams because of their inherent complexity factor. At the same time, building trust in multicultural teams appears to be more of a challenge as opposed to single culture ones due to cultural diversity of team members. Purpose: The objective of this paper was to explore and explain the process of trust building within multicultural teams. The main focus was to examine how national culture affected trust formation among team members. In addition, the paper studied such aspects as the importance of trust in teamwork and understanding of the concept of 'trust' among team members. Methodology: The study was accomplished by employing the case-study research strategy and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. The empirical data was obtained on one hand, by conducting interviews with a project team that consisted of a variety of different nationalities and, on the other hand, by supplying the abovementioned with an additional interview with an expert within the field of leadership and organizational development. Findings: The analysis revealed a number of benefits of establishing trust in teamwork, the obstacles to trust building and conversely, the factors that facilitate trust development within a team. Based on the existing theories within the academic domain of trust and culture, "The explanatory model of trust building within multicultural teams" was proposed and subsequently, modified according to the collected empirical data. Overall, the study confirmed the proposition that national culture affects trust hence calling for special attention to trust building process within multicultural teams. The study opened a number of avenues for further research. Keywords: trust; trust building; national culture; multicultural project teams; expectations Service Management, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
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