Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jessica L. Wildman

Second Advisor

Richard L. Griffith

Third Advisor

Rachael E. Ferguson

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Culturally diverse teams are increasingly common in the modern workforce, yet an inadequate understanding of the unique needs for culturally diverse teams has continued to lead to either sub-optimal or even failed team performance. The current study sought to examine the relationships between cultural distance, team emergent states (trust and cohesion), team composition (cross-cultural competence, 3C; and political skill, PS), and team performance. The research design utilized archival, longitudinal data which included a final sample of 49 teams. It was hypothesized that team-level 3C and PS benefit performance indirectly through their impact on trust and cohesion. Further, it was thought culture distance moderates this relationship, such that 3C and PS would most strongly affect trust and cohesion in high and low culturally distant teams, respectively. Neither the mediation nor moderated mediation relationships hypothesized were supported, though general interactive patterns indicate 3C may most strongly impact trust and cohesion in culturally similar teams, while PS had stronger effects in culturally distant teams. Surprisingly, 3C and trust were found to significantly interact to predict performance, suggesting a moderation such that 3C strength led to low perceptions of performance when trust was low, and high perceptions when trust was high. More research should explore the similarities and differences between 3C and PS, the role of emergent states, and how individual differences impact culturally diverse teams.