Cultural Intelligence as Driver of Team Performance? An Empirical Investigation

Master's Thesis, 2019

109 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of Content

1 Introduction

2 Theoretical background
2.1 Current state of research on intelligence
2.2 The model of cultural intelligence (CQ)
2.2.1 Metacognitive CQ
2.2.2 Cognitive CQ
2.2.3 Motivational CQ
2.2.4 Behavioral CQ
2.3 Team performance within the business context
2.3.1 Cooperation as indicator of team performance
2.3.2 Trust as indicator of team performance
2.3.3 Intrateam conflict as indicator of team performance
2.4 Virtuality and team identification as moderating variables
2.4.1 Virtuality within international teams
2.4.2 Team identification
2.5 Cultural intelligence and team performance in multicultural teams
2.5.1 The relation between cultural intelligence and indicators of team performance
2.5.2 The moderating role of virtuality
2.5.3 The moderating role of team identification

3 Methodology
3.1 Research design and data collection
3.2. Sample of the study
3.3 Operationalization of the measuring instruments
3.3.1 Expanded Cultural Intelligence Scale (E-CQS)
3.3.2 Registration of the dependent variables CFA four-factor solution scale Intragroup conflict scale
3.3.4 Moderating variables Virtuality within the team Team Identification
3.3.5 Controls
3.4 Steps within the data analysis

4 Results
4.1 Results of the descriptive analysis
4.2 Results from the hypothesis testing
4.2.1 Examination of the relation between CQ and team performance
4.2.2 Examination of the moderating role of virtuality
4.2.3 Examination of the moderating role of team identification

5 Discussion
5.1 Summary and discussion with reference to literature
5.2 Limitations
5.3 Theoretical implications for future research
5.4 Practical implications
5.5 Conclusion

6 References

7 Annex
7.1 Annex A: Questionnaire
7.3 Annex B: Normal distribution
7.4 Annex C: Requirements for a linear regression analysis
7.5 Annex D: Moderation analysis


The trend of technological development and increasing competition within the global economy requires more profound answers to the question of why some people are more effective in intercultural environments than others. Therefore, research about cultural intelligence (CQ), defined as the ability to cope in intercultural settings, has received increasing attention for the last years. The multidimensional construct of CQ, introduced in 2003 by Earley and Ang, analyses CQ from four different angles: Metacognitive CQ focuses on the awareness of other cultures, while cognitive CQ revolves around adaptive cultural standards. Motivational CQ addresses the interest in meeting other cultures. Finally, behavioral CQ refers to the intuitive behavior of people within intercultural interactions (Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 6). To tighten the gap of knowledge within this field of research this study is aimed at elucidating the relation between the single factors of CQ and team performance, measured on three indicators. Moreover, the moderating effect of virtuality and team identification on this relation should be examined, since international teams are often characterized by a virtual communication and less cohesion. This should give further insights on how to correctly cope with the increasing local flexibility in the business environment.

For this purpose, data about one´s own CQ and team performance based on cooperation, trust and emotional conflicts within a multicultural team were collected from 132 team member from different teams worldwide within an online questionnaire. It could be shown that metacognitive CQ, as well as motivational CQ were related to higher cooperation within the team. Furthermore, people with high motivational CQ also tended to work in more trustful teams. Contrary to original assumptions, cognitive CQ and behavioral CQ did not show any significant relations to team performance. In terms of the moderating role of virtuality an even positive moderation on the relation between motivational CQ and cooperation was identified. Team identification, however, did not moderate any relation significantly. All in all, these results support the notion that CQ is positively related to team performance.

This study is among the first which identified a relationship between CQ and team performance in a business setting, including a moderating role of virtuality. These findings serve to demonstrate that team performance can be enhanced through intercultural trainings corresponding to different factors of CQ, which hence, serve as a possible starting point for improved international cooperation.


Die fortschreitende technologische Entwicklung und vermehrter globaler Wettbewerb erfordern wegweisendere Antworten auf die Frage, warum einige Menschen im interkulturellen Umfeld effektiver sind als andere. Daher hat die Forschung zu kultureller Intelligenz (CQ), definiert als die Fähigkeit im interkulturellen Umfeld zurechtzukommen, zunehmend an Bedeutung gewonnen. Um die Wissenslücke in diesem Forschungsgebiet zu verengen, zielt diese Studie darauf ab, den Zusammenhang zwischen den vier einzelnen Faktoren von CQ (metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ, motivational CQ und behavioral CQ) und Indikatoren der Teamleistung aufzuklären. Darüber hinaus soll der moderierende Effekt von Virtualität und die Identifikation mit dem Team auf dieses Verhältnis untersucht werden, da internationale Teams oft durch eine virtuelle Kommunikation und weniger Kohäsion gekennzeichnet sind. Dies soll weitere Erkenntnisse zum Umgang mit der zunehmenden lokalen Flexibilisierung in der Arbeitswelt liefern.

Innerhalb der Studie wurden Daten zu CQ und der Teamleistung basierend auf Kooperation, Vertrauen und emotionaler Konflikte innerhalb eines multikulturellen Teams von 132 Probanden aus weltweit verschiedenen Teams in einem Online-Fragebogen erhoben. Es konnte gezeigt werden, dass metacognitive CQ, sowie motivational CQ mit höherer Kooperation innerhalb des Teams zusammenhängen. Zudem arbeiten Menschen mit hohem motivational CQ auch gerne in vertrauensvolleren Teams. Im Gegensatz zu den ursprünglichen Annahmen zeigten cognitive CQ und behavioral CQ keine signifikanten Zusammenhänge zur Teamleistung. Im Hinblick auf Virtualität konnte gezeigt werden, dass es positiv moderierend auf das Verhältnis zwischen motivational CQ und Kooperation wirkt. Die Teamidentifikation zeigte jedoch keinen moderierenden Effekt. Generell unterstützen diese Ergebnisse die Hypothese, dass CQ positiv mit der Teamleistung zusammenhängt.

Diese Studie ist eine der ersten, die den Zusammenhang zwischen CQ und Teamleistung in der Arbeitswelt einschließlich einer moderierenden Rolle der Virtualität identifiziert hat. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Teamleistung durch interkulturelle Trainings, die den verschiedenen Faktoren des CQ entsprechen, verbessert werden kann. Abgeleitete Ergebnisse dienen als Leitfaden für zukünftige interkulturelle Trainings und damit als möglicher Ausgangspunkt für eine verbesserte internationale Zusammenarbeit.

List of tables

Table 1: E-CQS with textual adjustments

Table 2: Factor analysis on the behavioral factor with two components

Table 3: Scales of perceived trustworthiness and cooperative behavior with factor loadings

Table 4: Scale of virtuality including ranking scale

Table 5: Scale of the controls including ranking scale

Table 6: Results of the multiple linear regression analysis model 1 & 2

Table 7: Spearman´s correlation coefficients, means, standard deviations and reliabilities

Table 8: Results of the multiple linear regression analysis model 3-6

Table 9: Moderation analysis of hypothesis HIIa1 - HIId1

Table 10: Moderation analysis of hypothesis HIIa2 – HIId2

Table 11: Moderation analysis of hypothesis HIIa3 – HIId3

Table 12: Moderation analysis of hypothesis HIIIa1 – HIIId1

Table 13: Moderation analysis of hypothesis HIIIa2 - HIIId2

Table 14: Moderation analysis of hypothesis HIIIa3 - HIIId3

Table 15: Examination on normal distribution

Table 16: Requirements of a linear regression analysis including its methods for an audit

Table 17: Tests on outliers, autocorrelation, multicollinearity with cooperation as DV

Table 18: Tests on outliers, autocorrelation, multicollinearity with trust as DV

Table 19: Tests on outliers, autocorrelation, multicollinearity with emotional conflict as DV

List of figures

Figure 1: Dimensions of virtuality by Griffith et al. (2003)

Figure 2: Hypotheses on the relation between CQ and team performance with the moderating role of virtuality and team identification

Figure 3: Boxplot diagrams with marked outliers (marked with a star)

Figure 4: Scatter diagram of hypothesis HIa1-3

Figure 5: Scatter diagram to part 1/2 of the hypothesis HIb1-3

Figure 6: Scatter diagram to part 2/2 of the hypothesis HIb1-3

Figure 7: Scatter diagram of the hypothesis HIc1-3

Figure 8: Scatter diagram to part 1/3 of the hypothesis HId1-3

Figure 9: Scatter diagram to part 2/3 of the hypothesis HId1-3

Figure 10: Scatter diagram to part 3/3 of the hypothesis HId1-3

Figure 11: Tests on linearity, homoscedasticity and normal distribution of the residuals of the DV cooperation

Figure 12: Tests on linearity, homoscedasticity and normal distribution of the residuals of the DV trust

Figure 13: Tests on linearity, homoscedasticity and normal distribution of the residuals of the DV emotional conflict

Figure 14: Moderating effect of virtuality (HIIc1)

Figure 15: Moderating effects of team identification on the DV cooperation (HIIId1)

Figure 16: Moderating effects of team identification on the DV trust (HIIIb2 & HIIId2)

Figure 17: Moderating effects of team identification on the DV emotional conflict (HIIId3)

1 Introduction

„A little thought experiment: One person has a specific problem to solve and creates three different possible solutions. How many different approaches might have been created by ten people, who think the same way as the one person? And how many different solution approaches, in contrast, might have been created by ten people who think totally different by introducing different perspectives?” (Charta der Vielfalt e.V., 2016, p. E)

The Charta der Vielfalt 1, designed a research paper on the occasion of its 10th anniversary informing about the current trend of diversity in German companies. Clear that not everybody has fully grasped the advantages of a heterogeneous team that were pointed out by Ana-Cristina Grohnert, the chairman of the initiative, in her so-called thought experiment. In fact, the report indicates that only one third of all questioned companies in Germany, which took part in a survey by this initiative, have already introduced measures to promote diversity in their working landscape. Furthermore, only 19% of all interviewed companies stated that they are planning some measures in the future (Charta der Vielfalt e.V., 2016, p. 13). Even if it can be assumed that these figures, collected by a consultancy, do not correspond to scientific standards, they nevertheless provide information about an urgent topic in Germany, since the heterogeneity, especially in the cultural field, is clearly increasing (Meyer, Bergmann, & Dick, 2015, p. 1).

There are two main reasons for this phenomenon to mention. Globalization, on the one hand, with its growing focus on international markets, has increased global expansions. This, in turn, has led to more independence for international businesses through a growing number of international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and other alliances (Hurn, 2014, p. 372; Johnson, Lenartowicz, & Apud, 2006, p. 525). This resulted in a world-wide rising mobility and European integration. On the other hand, an increasing skill shortage due to the demographic decline of available labor notably raised cultural diversity within the Western society, as companies increasingly had to fill their need for employees with skilled workers abroad (Meyer et al., 2015, p. 1). The effects of this increasing mixture of people from different cultural backgrounds is especially visible within the business context.

This convergence of cultures with different opinions and values can result in conflicts, staff turnover, and costly diversity complaints (Fisher & Härtel, 2003, p. 5; O'Leary & Sandberg, 2017, p. 512). Current research even names the inability to adapt to the demands of the global business environment, including intercultural management, as principle cause of international business failures (Johnson et al., 2006, p. 525). Nevertheless, as the numbers of the Charta der Vielfalt stated before, companies still do not see the importance of having intercultural competencies and a working diversity management (Charta der Vielfalt e.V., 2016, p. 10). Rather, they act on moral obligations arisen in society to give equal opportunities to everyone and hope to increase their employer attractiveness as opposed to potential economic success (Meyer et al., 2015, p. 90).

However, intercultural competence is considered a really important capability, not only for the intrateam relationship of heterogeneous teams, but also for the success of international business relationships and performance outside the domestic market (Messner, 2015, p. 108). Moreover, an interculturally trained diverse workforce is really rare and valuable, as it can create meaningful organizational benefits, such as more customers, increased sales, higher innovative climate, and greater relative profit, which can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage (O'Leary & Sandberg, 2017, p. 512). That is why there is a need to advance certain employee and managerial competencies in this multicultural century to create synergies and leveraging effects from this intercultural landscape (Korzilius, Bücker, & Beerlage, 2017, p. 21). Therefore it does not come as a surprise that the training of global competencies, like intercultural awareness, is analyzed as one of the top-five organizational practices to gain higher effectiveness in sciences (Ng, van Dyne, & Ang, 2009, p. 511).

The relationship between intercultural competence and performance is also increasingly becoming a research focus in science. Therefore, the researchers Earley and Ang (2003) designed an all-encompassing framework to provide insights into the phenomenon why some individuals function more effectively than others in intercultural settings (van Dyne et al., 2012, p. 295). The so-called cultural intelligence (CQ), defined as “a person´s capability for successful adaption to new cultural settings” (Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 9), based on Sternberg and Detterman’s (1986) multidimensional perspective on intelligence, is conceptualized as a multidimensional approach including four factors: metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ and motivational CQ as mental capabilities, paired with a behavioral dimension. This framework received high recognition and was used in various studies since 2003 (Fisher & Härtel, 2003; Hurn, 2014; Korzilius et al., 2017; Moon, 2013).

As research on interculturally diverse teams, as well as on CQ has only recently taken a front position in literature, there are still many scientific gaps to be filled (Earley & Gibson, 2002, p. 231; MacNab, 2012, p. 67; Moon, 2013, p. 2414). While Meyer et al. (2015) recognize that interculturality received the least attention in the field of diversity management, Ang et al. (2007) pleaded for further investigations on factors which could improve the quality of intercultural encounters. Also, despite many studies mentioning team performance, surprisingly few empirical investigations have systematically explored this issue with another focus than the financial output. However, it is particularly important to address the "soft factors" such as socialization processes, organizational climate and culture, as these exert an indirect influence with a lasting effect on team performance (Woehr, Arciniega, & Poling, 2013, p. 118). Moreover, the sample type was traditionally containing either students (van der Zee, Atsma, & Brodbeck, 2016, p. 297), sport teams or health care (Marlow, Bisbey, Lacerenza, & Salas, 2018, p. 306; Temkin-Greener, Gross, Kunitz, & Mukamel, 2004, p. 472) and emergency management (Andersson, Rankin, & Diptee, 2017, p. 517), leaving a gap of knowledge within the business context, especially relating to intercultural competencies (van der Zee et al., 2016, p. 297).

Based on these shortcomings, the present paper aims to tighten the research gap on CQ and team performance in the business context. Therefore, a sample of students and workers has been asked to participate in research focusing on organizational effectiveness and how psychological factors influence team performance. Accordingly, this investigation deals with the closer examination of the factors of CQ and its relation towards team performance within an intercultural working context. The understanding of team performance in the work environment in this study refers to occupational psychological indicators that deal with cooperation, as well as mutual trust and the extent of occurring emotional conflicts. Furthermore, special attention should be paid to the moderating role of virtuality as upcoming struggle within each internationally acting team, as well as on team identification, which has been analyzed in literature so far as a cohesive element of groups. These factors have despite their practical importance not received very much attention in the scientific field so far (Woehr et al., 2013, p. 118). Accordingly, the present investigation raises the following questions:

Is there a relation between CQ, inhering the four factors metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ, motivational CQ and behavioral CQ, and team performance consisting of the three indicators cooperation, trust and emotional conflict?

What moderating effect do the identification with the team and virtuality have on this link?

The following chapter explains the current state of the art on the individual constructs of CQ, team performance, virtuality and team identification in order to be able to answer these research questions comprehensively at the end of this study.

2 Theoretical background

In the following chapters, the current state of research on intelligence will be explained with a special focus on CQ. Here, the four factors metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ, motivational CQ and behavioral CQ will be discussed in more detail. Afterwards the concept of team performance in the business context will be considered. Here, a focus will be placed on cooperation, trust and emotional conflict. Subsequently, emphasize will be given on two other important factors with potential moderating effect on the relation between CQ and team performance. These two factors, CQ and team performance, will be then combined to bring the points of contact closer together. Finally, the derivation of the hypotheses to be investigated will be described.

2.1 Current state of research on intelligence

For many decades in research, intelligence was narrowly viewed as a person’s cognitive ability inside classroom settings including linguistical, logical-mathematical and spatial problem settings, measured through intelligence tests with academic tasks (Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 57).

With the new insights of Sternberg and Dettermann (1986) interests spread into different domains of intelligence. These also focus on real world capabilities, comprising creative skills to “generate novel ideas and adapt flexibility to novel environments” and practical skills “to execute their ideas and persuade others of the values of those ideas” without losing the analytical ones to “ascertain whether theirs and others” are good ones (Sternberg, 2012, p. 503). Sternberg claimed in his definition that intelligence should comprise mental capabilities like adaption to any environmental context, but also shaping and selection of different environmental settings. So, in his view intelligence consists of both reactive as well as active parts in forming the environment and answering to the changes of it. These activities involve a life-long learning process of every human being (Sternberg, 1997, p. 1030).

From his re-designed definition on intelligence other relating frameworks like social intelligence (Thorndike & Stein, 1937), emotional intelligence (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, & Sternberg, 2000) and practical intelligence (Sternberg et al., 2000), as well as cultural intelligence (CQ) (Earley & Ang, 2003) were identified and have gained higher attention (Ang et al., 2007, p. 337). Also, other kinds of abilities were announced to become an intelligence but did not pass the tests for intelligence described by Sternberg. This was mostly reasoned by their character as not being universally necessary to adapt to, select or shape the environment, although they might have been necessary in certain cultural contexts (Sternberg, 1997, p. 1034).

However, existing research and theory about intelligence is not all that counts. In practice, there still has been a gap between scientific recognitive CQ and the culturally recognized perception of intelligence based on dictated social norms, which change in each culture (Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 58). As verbal fluency, for example, was admired within Western cultures, tribes in Africa considered an intelligent person to speak less (Sternberg, 2012, p. 507). Even nowadays, this difference in conception about intelligence persists, especially when comparing Eastern and Western societies. In some Asian countries like Taiwan and China, memorizing, intellectual self-assertion and self-effacement still play a crucial role, as well as community benefitting behavior (Sternberg, 2012, p. 508). In Japan, moreover, people reason success much more with motivation and diligence than intelligence or certain abilities (Sternberg, 2012, p. 508). Also developing countries emphasize social and practical skills more than Western cultures do. This could be explained by the barely existing Western education system. Surprisingly, especially these social and practical skills earn more and more importance today, as soft skills are highly asked for in each business (Sternberg, 2012, p. 509). Therefore, it can be summarized that besides scientific definitions there is no proof which view on intelligence is the most important.

2.2 The model of cultural intelligence (CQ)

Based on Sternberg and Detterman’s (1986) multidimensional perspective on intelligence, Earley and Ang (2003) developed a conceptual model of CQ, where they defined CQ as “a person´s capability for successful adaption to new cultural settings” (p. 9).

To measure one’s CQ, they conceptualized it as a multidimensional approach involving different ‘loci’ of a person: metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ and motivational CQ as mental capabilities, paired with the behavioral dimension. Metacognitive CQ focuses on the awareness of other cultures, while the factor of cognitive CQ revolves around learnable cultural standards, culture-general as well as culture-specific. The motivational CQ addresses the intrinsic as well as the extrinsic interest in meeting other cultures. Finally, the behavioral factor refers to the intuitive behavior of people in interaction with others from different cultural backgrounds (Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 6). Within the existence of 15 years, the concept of CQ has already gained attention in disciplines of sociology, psychology, communication and anthropology due to its contemporary relevance to globalization, international management, and workforce diversification (Sternberg, 2012, p. 509). This can clearly be seen in the variety of studies with topics such as development of team work and trust (Rockstuhl & Ng, 2008; Rockstuhl et al., 2011), decision-making (Ang et al., 2007), leadership (Reichard et al., 2015; Rockstuhl, Seiler, Ang, van Dyne, & Annen, 2011), and improved expatriate efficiency (Remhof, Gunkel, & Schlägel, 2013; Şahin, Gurbuz, & Köksal, 2014; Vlajčić, Caputo, Marzi, & Dabić, 2018). However, it is important to review how a relatively new construct differs from other related constructs, like the Big five personality traits, other kinds of intelligences or the framework of multiculturalism.

First, CQ sometimes can be mistaken for multiculturalism, but in theory has rather contradictory definitions because multiculturalism, as being raised in more than one culture, does not guarantee the ability to adjust to unknown cultures (Korzilius et al., 2017, p. 15).

Furthermore, CQ as a complementary form of intelligence, resembles other types of intelligences such as cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence. In an ever increasing interconnected world, these intelligences are all of high importance in order to improve personal relationships and general effectiveness (van Dyne, Ang, & Koh, 2008, p. 16). CQ and cognitive intelligence (IQ) are both cognitive abilities that predict performance in various settings (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998, p. 271). However, CQ relates largely to emotions and behavior patterns, thus it goes beyond academic and mental intelligence. IQ on the other hand is rather unspecific to contexts and does not include behavioral and motivational aspects (Ang & van Dyne, 2008b, pp. 8–9). It could be claimed that there is a similarity between CQ and emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ is the ability to encode and decode emotions, but only focuses on the general ability to perceive and manage personal emotions without consideration of a cultural context (Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 6). As emotions evolve differently within a culture, this ability to manage emotions cannot be automatically transferred into any unfamiliar culture (Ang et al., 2007, p. 339). This insight partly explains the variance in failure and success of cross-border leadership behavior of individuals with a similar effectiveness in their domestic country (Ng et al., 2009, p. 520).

Another well-established and generally accepted construct, which sometimes is compared to CQ are the Big Five personality traits. According to its theory, an individual´s character can completely be described by only five factors (Goldberg, 1990). These are neuroticism (vulnerability and sensitivity towards psychological stress), extraversion (sociability and outgoingness towards others), openness to experience (curiosity and motivation towards new things and change in any means), agreeableness (cooperation and compassion towards others) and conscientiousness (tendency to be well-organized and dutiful) (Costa & McCrae, 1992, pp. 5–6). Several studies tried to analyze the relation between CQ and the Big Five (Ang, van Dyne, & Koh, 2006; (Şahin et al., 2014, p. 152). Findings suggested that some character traits within the Big Five are related to CQ. Scoring high conscientiousness is related to metacognitive CQ, as these individuals value planning and order. Agreeableness, in contrast, leads to higher behavioral CQ, which can be explained due to an easy-going character. A high amount of openness to experiences is associated with even all four factors of CQ (Şahin et al., 2014, p. 152). This only makes sense, as the concept of CQ is about a continuous adaption to changes. Not being open to it would certainly lead to lower CQ (Ang et al., 2006, p. 118). Moreover, high level of CQ absorbs the relation between collectivism and the competitive negotiation style, as even collectivist people with high CQ use a competitive negotiation form (Caputo, Ayoko, Amoo, & Menke, 2019, p. 32). But these relations do not make these two concepts similar. In fact, CQ as a set of abilities and capabilities can develop over time with the amount of experiences made in and about different cultural settings (Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 92), the concept of the rather broad and stable personality refers to typical and fairly unchangeable behavior of a person (Ang & van Dyne, 2008a, p. 8).

That is why this paper joins the opinion of Ang et al. (2007), that CQ is a highly important part within the research of intelligence and cannot be replaced, as it is distinct from personal traits or other intelligences and intercultural competences. Moreover, it provides important information on individuals, teams and organizations acting in intercultural environments and gives implications to the increasing global and diverse workplace (Ng & Earley, 2006, p. 6).

The following chapters will explain the four different factors of CQ more deeply offering a more detailed definition with illustrating examples of each factor based on the research of Earley and Ang (2003).

2.2.1 Metacognitive CQ.

CQ consists of mental elements, as well as motivational and behavioral aspects. One of the two cognitive factors known as metacognitive CQ focus on consciousness and awareness during intercultural interaction. It makes use of individuals´ mental capabilities, like planning, monitoring, and revising mental models to understand culturally diverse situations (Earley, & Ang, 2003, p. 12; Rockstuhl et al., 2011, p. 827). People with high metacognitive CQ have a better understanding on how their own culture influences their behavior and their interpretation of intercultural situations, actively aligning their interpretation with the intentions of others. (van Dyne et al., 2012, p. 298). Moreover, they have the ability to strategize when crossing cultures and to carefully ascertain personal thoughts and the thoughts of others—before and during interactions (Ng et al., 2009, p. 514).

According to van Dyne (2008) and Rockstuhl et al. (2011) this metacognitive factor is very important because it promotes active and critical thinking of people and habits on always changing cultural backgrounds and supports the revision of the humans’ mental map.

The concept of CQ was refined in 2012 by Earley and van Dyne where the four factors of CQ were further specified. Metacognitive intelligence was divided into three sub-dimensions related to time management. Planning as a strategizing part relates to all activities occurring before intercultural interactions, awareness, defined as real-time consciousness about cultural influences, should ever be present, whereas checking, as being responsible for reviewing and adjusting processes, is regarded to interactions during and after an intercultural encounter (van Dyne et al., 2012, p. 300).

2.2.2 Cognitive CQ.

Compared to the metacognitive factor, cognitive CQ is defined as an individual’s knowledge of practices, norms, beliefs and conventions in different cultural settings mostly learned in academical settings or from personal experiences. It displays both knowledge of cultural universals and differences (Ang et al., 2007, p. 338; Earley & Ang, 2003, p. 12; van Dyne, & Ang, 2008). With the introduction of the redefined extended cultural intelligence scale this cognitive factor was split into four different subdimensions: values, business, sociolinguistics and leadership as all-encompassing parts which shed light into the cognitive factor from each side. Values describe the knowledge of cultural standards, business is the understanding of the economy and politics in different countries, whereas sociolinguistics aims at the language. Finally, leadership is about the knowledge of business etiquette including leadership style and behavior within a team (van Dyne et al., 2012, p. 306).

High cognitive CQ enables to advanced calculation and understanding of similarities and differences across cultural situations. Consequently, people with high cognitive CQ are more likely to have accurate expectations about different cultures (Ng et al., 2009, p. 514) and hence, are more likely to understand and value the culturally distinct patterns of behaviors and interactions (van Dyne et al., 2012, p. 300). Cognitive CQ is a highly important component as it creates the foundation of effective performance and interactions in intercultural settings (van Dyne et al., 2008, p. 17).

2.2.3 Motivational CQ.

In addition to mental capabilities that foster understanding of other cultures, CQ also includes the motivational capability to cope with ambiguous and unfamiliar settings. Hereby, motivational CQ is defined as the drive to channel attention and energy towards gaining knowledge and operating in situations characterized by cultural differences (Vlajčić, Caputo, Marzi, & Dabić, 2018, p. 3). Those with high motivational CQ have an intrinsic interest in other cultures and are confident about their intercultural effectiveness (Ng et al., 2009, p. 514). This, in turn, leads to higher goal accomplishment (Ang et al., 2007, p. 338).

There are several explanations about the sources of this motivation. Some researchers claim that it can come from the individual him or herself because of different values, needs or traits (Latham & Locke, 2007, pp. 293–294). Some other theories rather focus on the external circumstances of an individual, such as job design characteristics or national culture, which encourage or discourage work-related behavior (van Dyne et al., 2012, p. 303).

2.2.4 Behavioral CQ.

The last aspect of CQ recognizes that a cultural cognitive mindset and interest in cultural settings must be enriched with behavioral agility to act appropriately in specific context based on cultural diversity (Ng et al., 2009, pp. 514–515). Thus, behavioral CQ is defined as the ability to be flexible in adjusting the own behavior by the appropriate usage of verbal and physical actions in cross-cultural interactions, for example words, tones, gestures and facial expressions. In other words, behavioral CQ is the individual´s capability in behaving intuitively appropriate within cross-cultural surroundings (Rockstuhl et al., 2011, p. 828) (Vlajčić et al., 2018, p. 3). Having a high behavioral CQ raises the acceptance of others in intercultural settings and hence, leads to higher success within interpersonal cooperation (Caputo, Ayoko, & Amoo, 2018, p. 11).

The behavioral part can, similar to the other factors, also be subdivided into three different categories: verbal flexibility seen as enhancement for communicative effectiveness, non-verbal flexibility, which illustrates respect for different cultural norms, and flexibility in speech-acts as skill to put others at ease with an understanding of communication conventions (van Dyne et al., 2012, p. 306).

According to Ang et al. (2007) these different factors lead to different outcomes in intercultural contexts. While metacognitive and cognitive factors of CQ lead to higher cultural judgement and decision-making, the others rather predict cultural adaption. Generally speaking, all factors of CQ somehow influence the outcome within intercultural setting and hence, are positively related to team performance (Ang et al., 2007, p. 335).

2.3 Team performance within the business context

With the beginnings of the 1970´s the tendency of working in teams has become more popular in each sector of the industry (Hertel, 2011, p. 178). This is reasoned by higher creativity gains due to cognitive stimulation within the team, more capacity to subdivide tasks, as well as higher emotional and psychological support to one another than when working individually (Hertel, 2011, p. 178). But how to identify and differentiate a real team? Several characteristics of the concept of a team are mentioned in sciences. The pioneers of research on teams, Katzenbach and Douglas, define a team as a small group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, goals, and working approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable (Katzenbach & Douglas, 2005, p. 2). In their definition, particular attention is paid to a common commitment, as it is required to create a powerful unit, which achieve more than the sum of all its individuals (Katzenbach & Douglas, 2005, p. 3). To reach high team effectiveness Davis (2001) names some important characteristics: being open for ideas, having high team commitment, mutual trust, high work satisfaction and being open for change (Davis, 2001, p. 24). Moreover, a team is most effective when its members have common group goals, and each person has an assigned role, which not only fits the individual´s abilities, but also will be accepted by one another (Simkhovych, 2009, pp. 384–385). The task itself plays a crucial role too, as it should include feasible objectives, challenging work, appropriate leadership style and the awareness to involve the team in the decision making process (Davis, 2001, p. 24). Finally there is also the organization itself to state, providing a supporting organizational culture and rules made up to facilitate team settings (Davis, 2001, p. 24).

Given the fact that team performance is stated as a critical part for the organization´s success (Wohlers & Hertel, 2018, p. 2), there must be ways to improve it constantly. But how to improve or even measure it? Even until now there is no generally agreed definition on what team performance really is and how it is to be measured to be most meaningful (Andersson et al., 2017, p. 517). It is often defined and gauged by its financial performance, which is solely related to organizational effectiveness (Fisher & Härtel, 2003, p. 7) and can jeopardize future business performance (MacBryde & Mendibil, 2003, p. 726), as it mostly does not consider the wellbeing and learning process of its team members (MacBryde & Mendibil, 2003, p. 727). In fact, even for teams whose output can be measured quantitatively, it does not consider any work psychological issues and could give a totally different picture to the real situation (MacBryde & Mendibil, 2003, p. 725). On behalf of these insights, latest studies tried to establish multi-dimensional models involving task and contextual behavioral dimensions which contribute to team performance (Andersson et al., 2017; MacBryde & Mendibil, 2003; Woehr et al., 2013). These differ in the scope of the dimensions from two parts, which concern task work and teamwork such as cooperation and communication (Andersson et al., 2017, p. 518) up to four elements including also work satisfaction and learning and growth of the workers (MacBryde et al., 2003, p. 727), as collaborative practices start to receive more importance in research due to their relation to efficiency in a rather sustainable way (Andersson et al., 2017, p. 518). This slight variance in the structure of their frameworks still has similar motives: there must be a solid model to at least have the chance to get a valuable measurement of team performance (Andersson et al., 2017, p. 517).

To tie up with latest studies implementing multidimensional frameworks, this investigation will step into these footpaths by introducing a construct containing three psychological issues in organizations highly related to team performance, which are named cooperation, trust and emotional conflict. It can be recognized that these indicators rather focus on the overall atmosphere within the team, which indirectly leads to more sustainable team performance than on factors related to any financial outcome or final product. This not only follows the current trend in work psychology focusing on the workers satisfaction but can also be measured more truthfully.

In the following chapters, the three indicators of team performance used in this study are explained in more detail. In addition to the formulation of the respective definitions, empirical findings on these indicators to date will also be stated. These will underline the importance of cooperation, trust and emotional conflict as indicators of team performance and explain why they are used in this study in particular.

2.3.1 Cooperation as indicator of team performance.

Cooperation within a team describes “the extent team members rely on each other, communicate openly about their work or themselves, accept the influence from each other, and are personally involved with the team” (Costa & Anderson, 2011, p. 125). Based on this definition, it is not surprising that cooperation is seen as an indispensable predictor of team performance (Lin, He, Baruch, & Ashforth, 2017, p. 931). One reason for the close link to team performance is that cooperation channels individually independent goals into a common direction, so the degree of cooperation between individuals determines the effectiveness of the performance within a team (Tauer & Harackiewicz, 2004, p. 849). Moreover, cooperation results into greater interpersonal attraction, social support and self-esteem (Stanne, Johnson, & Johnson, 1999, p. 133). Teams with high cooperative behavior are more creative and reach higher quality through multiple perspectives within a team. Furthermore, they mostly have a greater information flow due to a more open communication (Costa & Anderson, 2011, p. 125). Focusing on diversity, cooperation even mediates the effects of team members’ demographic and trait variations on intrateam support (Lin et al., 2017, p. 934).

As an important indicator of team performance, cooperation is also closely knitted to other associated indicators. Lin et al. (2017) stated that members who identify highly with their team are more cooperative. Relationship conflicts, on the other hand, were proved to negatively influence cooperation, as the arising negative feelings such as anxiety, fear or frustration create high interpersonal barriers and hence, lead to a loss of motivation and team identification (Lee, Lin, Huang, Huang, & Teng, 2015, p. 530).

Summarizing, it can be claimed that cooperation plays a crucial role in the well-being of the team and hence, is related to higher team performance due to better communication, creativity and social support.

2.3.2 Trust as indicator of team performance.

Trust is a fundamental characteristic of any work relationship, with an increasing importance in business due to the development towards flatter hierarchies and more team focus (Jong, Dirks, & Gillespie, 2016, p. 1134). Researchers` attention, especially on its relation to team performance and factors which facilitate trust, have rapidly increased with the rise of this trend. Their findings confirm that trustful relationships within teams are connected to higher efficiency and hence, better team performance (Jong et al., 2016, p. 1134).

Intrateam trust, as a highly complex and abstract phenomenon, does not have a congruent definition (Costa & Anderson, 2011, p. 122). Most researchers, however, agree that it contains individual components, as the willingness to vulnerability towards a person, as well as relational components, like expectations towards the other part (Costa & Anderson, 2011, p. 122). Jong et al. (2016) include both components in their definition, where trust is “an individual’s willingness to accept vulnerability based on positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another” (Jong et al., 2016, p. 1136). Trust influences team performance in many ways. It reduces uncertainty and vulnerability towards others, improves open communication and information sharing, and leads to higher job satisfaction (Jong et al., 2016, p. 1136). Even in culturally heterogenic groups with a mixture of contradicting values, individuals are likely to develop shared perceptions, expectations and norms with their colleagues. This explains that team interaction can create a shared notion of trust (Smith & Barclay, 1997, p. 16).

Of high importance within the research of intrateam trust is the perceived trustworthiness of other team members, which can lead to better cooperation when paired with its own propensity to trust (Costa & Anderson, 2011, p. 123). Here, “perceived trustworthiness refers to the extent to which individuals expect others to be and to behave according to their claims.” (Costa & Anderson, 2011, p. 125).

Trust in the team can arise in many different ways. A key element here is communication, in which high frequency, positive tone, and appropriate feedback style can inspire confidence. Moreover, even the initiation of communication itself, especially in virtual teams, strengthens trust (Potter & Balthazard, 2002, p. 4).

All in all, it can be assumed that trust, due to its mentioned effects is closely associated with higher team performance (Jarvenpaa, Shaw, & Staples, 2004, p. 251; Smith & Barclay, 1997, p. 16). It is therefore used as an indicator in the team performance survey.

2.3.3 Intrateam conflict as indicator of team performance.

A last predictor of the extent of team performance is the amount and kind of conflicts within a team. Task related conflicts, defined as disagreements about a task being performed, count as performance supporting, because discussions about different opinions mostly lead to creation of new ideas, which increase innovation, creativity and curiosity within a team (Jehn, 1994, p. 232). Moreover, they often even enhance the decision quality (Jehn, 1994, p. 223). Emotional conflicts, however, reduce the team performance drastically, which is reasoned by a decrease in an individual’s satisfaction and hence, a loss of productivity (Jehn, 1994, p. 232). Also named as interpersonal incompatibilities among group members, emotional conflicts are characterized by friction, frustration, or personality clashes. Emotional conflicts are related more significantly with team performance, as these conflicts can also result from a task conflict (Jehn, 1994, p. 233) and have even harsher consequences. While a task conflict is mostly more visible and can be discussed, an emotional conflict can occur under the surface and sometimes even needs a mediator to be solved (Hertel, 2011, p. 177). Having an interpersonal conflict, the whole energy will be used to focus on the efforts on resolving or ignoring it, rather than concentrating on the accomplishment of a task (Jehn, 1994, p. 226). Therefore, it is very important to distinguish between these two types of conflicts and to resolve emotional conflicts as soon as they occur in order to uphold the efficiency of a team (Jehn, 1994, p. 232).

Furthermore, Jehn (1994) assumes that the amount of consensus in group values decreases any kind of conflict within a team, which already gives insight about a potential connection between CQ and team performance.

2.4 Virtuality and team identification as moderating variables

As this research aims to shed light on the relation between CQ and team performance, it also wants to put special attention on the current economic changes. Especially the increasing number of international teams are mostly characterized by virtual communication and less face-to-face (FTF) contact. Therefore, this study wants to further explain the effects of the two factors virtuality and team identification in the following chapters.

2.4.1 Virtuality within international teams.

In light of the increasing globalization, technological and work-political development, the typical working environment is more and more characterized by virtuality. This phenomenon is partly a result of the growing local disparity of work members, coordinating their work via electronic communication media such as telephone, e-mail, video-conferencing, etc. (Hertel, Konradt, & Voss, 2006, p. 478). Moreover, the trend of higher work flexibility introduced spatial, as well as temporal flexibility to reduce expenditures by desk sharing or home office (Wohlers & Hertel, 2018, p. 1).

This trend led to an emergence of “a collection of individuals who are geographically and/or organizationally or otherwise dispersed and who collaborate via communication and information technologies in order to accomplish a specific goal” (Zigurs, 2003, p. 340) or shortly named virtual teams. While in the normal-sized consumer society, a distinction is usually only made between conventional and virtual teams, research already suggests further potential distinctions of virtual teams themselves. So, Zigurs (2003) and Griffith, Sawyer, & Neale (2003) introduced different frameworks on how to examine the extent of virtuality within a team.

Figure 1 : Dimensions of virtuality by Griffith et al. (2003)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The approach taken by Griffith et al. (2003) introduced three different categories (traditional, hybrid and purely virtual) to characterize today´s teams, as shown in figure 1. These are defined by three different measures. First, the degree of technological support used by the team, including communication, documentation and decision support capabilities. Second, the percentage of work being done under temporal or spatial dispersion. Finally, the general distribution of the physical locations occupied by the team members. By introducing this framework Griffith et al. found a way to characterize the degree of virtuality from purely traditional face-to-face teams to totally virtual working teams, with different forms of hybridity in between (Griffith et al., 2003, p. 267). It can thus be understood that the complexity of issues a team is facing to function effectively raises with the amount of virtuality (Zigurs, 2003, p. 339).

A great difference of these forms of team work consists in the communication style. It was proven that groups using computer mediated communication (CMC) communicate less frequently as do their face-to-face (FTF) counterparts. This shorten information flow, on the contrary, may be compensated by a higher percentage of task-related messages and more polarized or diverse opinions (Potter & Balthazard, 2002, p. 3). The lack of informal communication results into leaders judging their team members better on the basis of the quality they produce compared to leaders of traditional teams (Potter & Balthazard, 2002, p. 4). Nevertheless, having a frequent communication, which should be more than a steady stream of email messages, is even more important in virtual teams to create trust (Zigurs, 2003, p. 344). Therefore, Ocker, Fjermestad, Hiltz, & Johnson (2015) claim that mixture of CMC and FTF presents the most efficient solution for work teams. It ensures higher quality and creativity and leaves team members more satisfied with their solutions (Ocker et al., 2015, p. 100).

This new form of working together comes with various advantages and disadvantages for professional practice. It has its advantages, as it creates more flexible forms of communication not only based on geographical dispersion but also time related beneficial aspects. Team members get time to think twice to answer non simultaneous messages like via email which can prevent from unneeded conflicts (Kerr & Tindale, 2004, p. 626). Also, companies can benefit financially as collaboration among employees in different locations can be enhanced, travel costs can be minimized, global projects can be hold more effective and more staffing flexibility can be reached. Furthermore recruiting can become more successful, as the talent pool can be opened globally (Frick, 2017, p. 5). However, several studies still register less success in most outcome measures in virtual teams than in FTF teams, especially on tasks which demand high cooperation (Potter & Balthazard, 2002, p. 1). This is partly due to still existing technology barriers (Zigurs, 2003, p. 341), more misunderstandings as paraverbal and nonverbal communication is lacking, less collaboration and involvement of employees, as well as less trusting relationships (Wohlers & Hertel, 2018, p. 1), which is perceived as key issue in virtual team work. Well applied, trust facilitates the team in sharing ideas, opinions and perspectives already at the beginning of its developments (Hertel et al., 2006, p. 483; Zigurs, 2003, p. 341), which in turn, improves team performance (Potter & Balthazard, 2002, p. 4).

2.4.2 Team identification.

Based on the social identity approach, which differentiates behavior based on one´s personal identity with behavior based on one’s social identity, Dirk and Kerschreiter (2016) analyzed the effects of team identification on several work-related aspects.

The potential link to team performance draws importance to the understanding of the roots and real definition of identification. The whole concept goes back to the phenomenon that individuals always try to classify themselves and others into certain social groups based on their gender, age or other organizational memberships to not only create an order into the complex environment, but also to produce a feeling of belonging to a social entity (Mael & Ashforth, 1992, pp. 104–105).

Based on this insights team identification basically describes an individual´s self-concept of creating a bond between the self and the team by sharing norms and behavior codes. This results into cohesion by seeing the self as similar to other members and to take collective goals and interests to heart (Hertel & Solansky, 2011, p. 249; Lin et al., 2017, p. 934). As high team identification can transform a lose group into a powerful psychological entity with high importance of group norms (Lin et al., 2017, p. 934), it usually goes hand in hand with great positive effects, like higher costumer orientation, creativity or performance (in production teams). Nevertheless, this also has its downside. The emphasis of the distinction between the in-group and the unrelated people (out-group) can seriously trigger social conflicts (von Dick & Kerschreiter, 2016, p. 364).

Speaking of a positive impact, team identification can have leveraging effects on the team’s cooperation and motivation as its collectivist character formed by pride and respect shapes teamwork drastically from a loose group of people to a shrink-wrapped team (Hertel & Solansky, 2011, p. 250). Moreover, results of several studies show that identification with one´s team significantly leads to higher affective organizational commitment, higher job satisfaction, less conflicts and turnover intentions and finally, higher performance (von Dick & Kerschreiter, 2016, p. 365; Hertel & Solansky, 2011, p. 250; Lin et al., 2017, p. 934). Von Dick et al. even found out that team identification contributes to the well-being of employees, as it helps coping with stressful situations. This is due to raised social support within the team and greater motivation to achieve group goals (von Dick & Kerschreiter, 2016, pp. 366–367). Moreover, it is not surprising that building a strong identity within a team is even more effective in already collectivist societies than in individualistic ones (von Dick & Kerschreiter, 2016, p. 379).

2.5 Cultural intelligence and team performance in multicultural teams

The aim of this investigation is to answer the question on how the four factors of CQ are really involved into the team performance in a multicultural team. Therefore, after a separate and detailed explanation of CQ including its four factors, and a profound clarification of team performance in an economic context, with a special focus on cooperation, trust and emotional conflicts, this chapter serves to unite these two constructs. In addition, a potential connection between this relation and virtuality as well as team identification will be stated. Finally, hypotheses yielded from this compound are derived in order to test them analytically in the upcoming chapters.

2.5.1 The relation between cultural intelligence and indicators of team performance.

Regardless of the management style or work design, culture has an important role to play in developing team performance in international teams (Fisher & Härtel, 2003, p. 7). Also, during the confrontation with cultural intelligence, it became clear that it can be learned through experience abroad and language courses, for example, and even measured. Thus, it can be assumed that the two constructs team performance and CQ influence each other in some way.

In fact, also within the research of diversity some scientists already made interesting findings. Several studies have reported that cultural diversity is reflected in team performance, with homogenous teams initially achieving greater efficiencies, but long-term outreach by heterogeneous groups (Moon, 2013, p. 2414). This is reasoned as follows: the similarity-attraction perspective explains the tendency in multicultural groups to divide into sub-teams based on each cultural belonging, as they are more likely to be attracted to those who share similar values and beliefs with each other. This results in less collaboration, cooperation and communication between the sub-teams, and hence, leads to conflicts (Messner, 2015, p. 112). Moreover, Woehr et al. (2013) mention higher cohesion, efficacy and less conflict along with homogeneity as reason for the negative relation between cultural diversity and team performance.

However, some other scientists report mixed outcomes on the relationship between diversity and team outcomes (Moon, 2013, p. 2415) or even positive results (Jehn, 1994, p. 234). This variance can be reasoned by differences in one’s CQ. Not only Ang et al. (2007) ascertained different factors of CQ as predictor of intercultural team performance (Ang et al., 2007, p. 362), but also Moon (2013) explained differences in ones CQ as being identified as major determinant of inter-team differences in initial team performance and its improvement over time (Moon, 2013, p. 2422).

Also, several other researchers already confirmed CQ as important factor in relation to team performance within sport teams, international assignments or the health care sector. Korzilius et al. stated that cognitive strengths, which could be identified as cognitive CQ, possessed by increasing global mobility enhances greater innovation and creativity (Korzilius et al., 2017, p. 14). Moreover, in a study by Ang et al. (2007) different factors of CQ were identified as affecting different aspects within the team work. Metacognitive and behavioral CQ predict task performance, whereas motivational and behavioral CQ were identified as predictors of cultural adaption, which indirectly influences team performance (Ang et al., 2007, p. 362). Also, Moon stated that CQ moderates the relationship between diversity and team performance in a multicultural team in the way that it leads to higher efficiency (Moon, 2013, p. 2414) as it can reduce misunderstandings and conflicts by developing trust and cohesiveness within the team (Moon, 2013, p. 2417). As metacognitive and cognitive CQ is also seen to predict higher reflection of cross-cultural experiences during international assignments (Ng et al., 2009, p. 516), it seems fair to assume a potential positive effect on team performance.

In fact, this research follows the assumptions and findings of other researchers, proposing that CQ, based on the defining attributes of the four elements described above, will predict the degree of team performance indicated by cooperation, trust and emotional conflict.

This study predicts metacognitive CQ through a critical thinking of intercultural settings to enhance team performance, as people who act after thinking reduce upcoming conflicts and misunderstanding, which hence, is related to an increasing level of trust and cooperation within the team. In addition, mental preparation and post processing support intercultural encounters through improved cooperation.

HIa) Metacognitive CQ is positively related to team performance (indicated by cooperation, trust and emotional conflicts).

1. Metacognitive CQ is positively related to cooperation within the team.
2. Metacognitive CQ is positively related to trust within the team.
3. Metacognitive CQ is negatively related to emotional conflict.

Moreover, cognitive CQ defined as the knowledge about specific cultures, is here expected to support cooperation and trust building within the team. This is reasoned through the idea that people with high level of cognitive CQ are assumed to use the language spoken by the counterpart (Henderson & Louhiala-Salminen, 2011, p. 28), to know about certain celebrities or events of the counterpart’s nation to start small talk or are familiar with special customs in the other nation. Knowledge about the table manners or business etiquette of another culture is within this investigation also presumed to diminish emotional conflicts.

HIb) Cognitive CQ is positively related to team performance (indicated by cooperation, trust and emotional conflicts).

1. Cognitive CQ is positively related to cooperation within the team.
2. Cognitive CQ is positively related to trust within the team.
3. Cognitive CQ is negatively related to emotional conflict.

Furthermore, this study assumes that motivational CQ, as the motivation to face other cultures, makes an important positive contribution to team performance in international teams. This is due to the openness and interest of people who are motivated to get to know other cultures. As a result, cooperation increases, which leads to a faster building of trust. In addition, conflicts are reduced through honest interest in the other counterpart, which arises with high motivational CQ.

HIc) Motivational CQ is positively related to team performance (indicated by cooperation, trust and emotional conflicts).

1. Motivational CQ is positively related to cooperation within the team.
2. Motivational CQ is positively related to trust within the team.
3. Motivational CQ is negatively related to emotional conflict.

Ultimately, this study predicts that behavioral CQ also plays a positive role in team performance, since behavior adapted to the other culture encounters fewer misunderstandings and thus conflicts. Furthermore, a similar behavior results in more similarities, which could increase trust and cooperation and even the chance to be accepted into the in-group of a certain ethnic group (von Dick & Kerschreiter, 2016, p. 364).

HId) Behavioral CQ is positively related to team performance (indicated by cooperation, trust and emotional conflicts).

1. Behavioral CQ is positively related to cooperation within the team.
2. Behavioral CQ is positively related to trust within the team.
3. Behavioral CQ is negatively related to emotional conflict.

Figure 2 tries to summarize the stated hypotheses within a graphic, which also illustrates the moderating relation between these hypotheses and virtuality and team identification. To simplify matters, the following sections talk about the relationship between CQ and team performance, which however means the relationship between all four factors of CQ and the three indicators of team performance. This can be seen again in the graphic. Hypotheses on the moderating influence of virtuality and team identification on this relation will be content of the following chapters.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2 : Hypotheses on the relation between CQ and team performance with the moderating role of virtuality and team identification

2.5.2 The moderating role of virtuality.

The impact of virtuality in teams on their business performance is increasingly discussed in science, as research on this very topic is still quite contradictory. Chapter 2.4.1 already provided some insights, noting positive effects of virtual teams such as a greater knowledge base through their individual team members, due to international recruitment instead of a local focus (Griffith et al., 2003, p. 268), spatial and temporal flexibilization of work (Kerr & Tindale, 2004, p. 626) and financial savings for companies (Frick, 2017, p. 5). These benefits mostly describe indirect effects on team performance or on the company. For this study, however, the direct effects between the individual team members are of greater importance, as also the used indicators of team performance within this investigation are about interpersonal cooperation. These are, after all, mostly limited through technical moderation in terms of restricted communication (Driskell, Radtke, & Salas, 2003, p. 317). This, in turn, is in this study assumed to lead to less cooperation, more difficulties to build trust and more conflicts due to misunderstandings. Therefore, the following hypotheses will be derived:

HII: Virtuality moderates the relation between each factor of CQ (a. metacognitive CQ, b. cognitive CQ, c. motivational CQ, d. behavioral CQ) and each indicator of team performance in the way that it weakens the overall relationship.

1. Virtuality moderates the relation between CQ* and cooperation in the way that it weakens the relationship the more virtual teams are.
2. Virtuality moderates the relation between CQ* and trust within the team in the way that it weakens the relationship the more virtual teams are.
3. Virtuality moderates the relation between CQ* and emotional conflict in the way that it strengthens the relationship the more virtual teams are.

*= Abbreviation for metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ, motivational CQ and behavioral CQ, respectively

2.5.3 The moderating role of team identification.

Summarizing the mentioned characteristics in chapter 2.4.2, team identification has great beneficial effects for both the individual (less stress, less turnover-intentions, higher well-being, satisfaction) and the organization (creativity, extra-role behavior, client-focus) which commonly pay into team performance (van der Zee et al., 2016, p. 298). It is therefore recommendable for leaders to pay special attention towards this aspect (von Dick & Kerschreiter, 2016, p. 367). Despite the richness of team identification's research on performance, there is surprisingly little evidence against intercultural issues. Van der Zee et al. (2016) explored identification with one’s cultural background as being negatively related, whereas identification with the team was significantly positively related to team performance in culturally diverse work teams (van der Zee et al., 2016, p. 283).

Resulting from these insights the moderating effect of team identification on the relation of CQ and team performance will be analyzed to contribute to the hitherto unexplored area of ​​CQ research. Taking the mentioned positive effects of team identification into account this study assumes team identification to have an overall positive moderating effect, as it strengthens the team cohesion (Lin et al., 2017, p. 934). This might be because of a supporting function of the team to have a common goal, by increasing the individual’s motivation towards achieving higher team results, and by creating a deeper sense of trust and reliability towards the members. Hence, the hypotheses are proposed as following:

HIII: Team identification moderates the relation between each factor of CQ (a. metacognitive CQ, b. cognitive CQ, c. motivational CQ, d. behavioral CQ) and each indicator of team performance in the way that it strengthens the overall relationship.

1. Team identification moderates the relation between CQ* and cooperation in the way that it strengthens the relationship the more team identification there is in a team.
2. Team identification moderates the relation between CQ* and trust within the team in the way that it strengthens the relationship the more team identification there is in a team.
3. Team identification moderates the relation between CQ* and emotional conflict in the way that it weakens the relationship the more team identification there is in a team. *= Abbreviation for metacognitive CQ, cognitive CQ, motivational CQ and behavioral CQ, respectively

3 Methodology

After having described the relevant constructs of this study as well as the hypotheses that were derived, the focus of this chapter will be on the quantitative strategies used to test the given hypotheses.

The following covers a brief description of the research design and sample type, the instruments and adjustments for better adaptation to the research design, including a comprehensive justification for the decisions taken. A detailed description of the data analysis process completes the chapter on evaluating the hypotheses of this study on CQ and team performance.

3.1 Research design and data collection

The present investigation was conducted in cooperation with an international company in the aviation sector that aimed to shed light on possible fields of action in the area of intercultural development of the company. Therefore, it required a comprehensive analysis of the attitudes of the employees at this company, ideally from various countries. In this case, a special concern was to mainly include employees with already existing experiences in multicultural teams.

The research design was a quantitative cross-sectional analysis using an online survey tool to ensure local and temporal freedom of decision of accomplishment, as well as an easy and anonymous access to the questionnaire. The study measured a plethora of (labor) psychological measures which will be described more deeply within the following chapter.

The study was advertised for via email at the Europa-Universität Flensburg and several mailing lists at the cooperated company, as well as through relevant social media channels (e.g. students’ Facebook groups, Instagram) to achieve a preferably diverse sample. Preliminary eligibility criteria only included experiences in a team and being fluent in English, as the promotion on social media, as well as the questionnaire itself were written in English. The extensive advertisement led to a total number of 272 people visiting the platform within the 28 days (17th December 2018 – 13th January 2019) during which the questionnaire was open to public.

All variables were assessed through self-report questionnaires designed on the platform “Unipark” provided by questback (Version EFS 18.4 Winter) on the latest standards of data protection. The average completion time to answer all 64 questions of the survey was ten minutes. All items concerning the two constructs, CQ and team performance, were queried by graduation questions being ordinally scaled by Likert scales. Demographic questions and Controls sometimes also made use of dichotomic questions and were mostly nominally scaled. The whole questionnaire can be viewed in annex A. Other detailed information about the various variables and its ranking scales will be examined later at chapter 3.3.

3.2. Sample of the study

From N = 272 people visiting the webpage of the online questionnaire a total of N = 196 participants divided into N = 95 male and N = 101 female subjects actually completed the online survey. Due to the fact that only people working in intercultural teams could be considered, a total of N = 62 had to be excluded for the main analysis, bearing a sample size of N = 134. In addition, two outliers in the sample were identified and excluded, so that the final sample size is N = 132, including N = 69 female and N = 63 male participants. This number of participants still surpassed the calculated minimum sample size for the regression analysis, which was calculated by G*Power. Thereby, the calculation was based on an effect size of = .15 with a significance level of α = 0.05 as well as a power of 0.8. Taking these numbers into account the elevation needed a sample size of N = 85. However, even the personally aspired sample size for this investigation of N = 100, was excelled.

For data protection purposes age was summarized into four groups (1= 25 years or younger; 2= 26-35 years; 3= 36-45 years; 4= more than 45 years). The whole sample of N =132 counted Mage = 2.30, SD = 1.06 showing female participants as being slightly younger (Mage = 2.03, SD = 1.01) than their male counterparts (Mage = 2.59, SD = 1.04). Furthermore, the sample consists 30% of students, 68% employees and 2% self-employees with a hierarchically heterogenous mix of N = 72 team members (54%), N = 34 team leaders (25%) and N = 14 supervisors (11%) (N = 12 did not indicate the hierarchy level). A total of N = 74, which makes 56% of the sample, was working at the cooperated company. 67% of all subjects were originally from Germany, the other 33% of the participants came from other countries worldwide (except for African countries), creating a culturally diverse sample. Moreover, 67% of the sample have been abroad for more than a year, making a participant with experiences abroad for 1-2 years (M = 3.08, SD = 1.01), but who is rather not from a multicultural background (M = 1.31, SD = 0.46). Only 7% claimed to have no experience abroad at all. These findings show an already high degree of intercultural experiences within the sample.


1 The German employer initiative Charta der Vielfalt (2016) was established in 2006 to promote diversity in companies and institutions. Moreover, it is sponsored by Federal Government Commissioners.

Excerpt out of 109 pages


Cultural Intelligence as Driver of Team Performance? An Empirical Investigation
University of Flensburg  (Internationales Institut für Management und ökonomische Bildung)
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
CQ, Cultural Intelligence, Team Performane, trust, team identification, virtual teams, emotional conflict, conflict, team
Quote paper
Aliza Dansch (Author), 2019, Cultural Intelligence as Driver of Team Performance? An Empirical Investigation, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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