Vaasan yliopiston opinnäytteet

Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2016

Rossi, Maija

Role of cultural intelligence and -experience in multicultural teams. Impact on conflict, trust and knowledge share

Ohjaaja/Valvoja (DI):
Olivier Wurtz
Kauppatieteiden maisteri
Johtaminen ja organisaatiot
Master's Degree Programme in International Business
Tutkielman kieli:
This Master’s thesis study examines how cultural experience (CE) and cultural intelligence (CQ) influence multicultural team behaviour, more specifically their influence on conflict, trust and knowledge share. Due to rapid globalisation, multicultural teams are increasingly more common in companies, and the need for culturally competent employees is growing. The study’s main objective is to recognise how CQ and CE affect individuals’ perception on the three aspects in multicultural teams. Cultural intelligence is one’s ability to behave effectively in an unfamiliar cultural context. The main research utilised in the study is the four factor model of cultural intelligence. Cultural experiences role in CQ development is essential, and the two concepts are interconnected.

The study uses a mixed method approach in the data collection. Main source of data is discussions from semi-structured theme interviews, which are supported by quantitative questionnaire. The qualitative data is analysed by content analysis. The qualitative research seeks to build a framework of understanding on the connection of key concepts.

The study results suggest that CQ and CE have mainly a positive influence on conflict, trust and knowledge share. For conflict and trust the connection is more evident than for knowledge share. The findings also show that cultural intelligence is uniquely constructed and cultural experiences influence its formation. In addition, the three aspects are interconnected and the experience of one can affect the perception of the other.

The study shows that individuals are able to construct relatively high cultural intelligence. The study suggests that individuals’ with international education have the potential to create similar level of CQ as those with extensive international work experience.
Cultural intelligence, Cultural experience, Multicultural teams, Conflict, Trust, Knowledge share
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