Teams, culture, information sharing, cultural values, performance


The purpose of this study was to examine the relations among culture, information sharing, and performance among culturally-homogeneous NATO Officer teams. Forty-eight teams participated from five countries, namely, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and USA. Teams of four participants were randomly assigned to a role and the task was an interdependent computer-based mission using an adapted version of Neverwinter Nights™ (Bioware, 2003), where they had to communicate among teammates and with non-human players to find weapons caches and other mission objectives. Not one individual had all of the information needed to perform the tasks; thus, they needed to share information with each other. The results of the study suggested that total information sharing was related to both team performance and cultural values (Power Distance, Individualism, and Uncertainty Avoidance). Specifically, Situation Update was the information sharing dimension that was significantly related to team performance. In addition, culture moderated the relations between information sharing and team performance. Specifically, there were hypotheses regarding Individualism moderating the relations between (a) Supporting Behavior, (b) Information Exchange, and (c) Reinforcement / Punishment and team performance. The results were that for high Individualists, the more supporting behavior, the better the teams performed. For low Individualists, the more supporting behavior, the worse the teams performed —a finding that was in the opposite direction than hypothesized. In support of the hypotheses, for high Individualists, as Information Exchange and Reinforcement / Punishment increased, team performance also increased. Conversely, for low Individualists, as Information Exchange and Reinforcement / Punishment increased, team performance decreased. A Task Direction x Power Distance interaction was also hypothesized and supported. Task Direction was positively related to team performance for high- iv Power Distance teams. For low-Power Distance teams, an increase in task direction was associated with a decrease in team performance. In addition, the effective teams exchanged more information and communicated similarly during the beginning, middle, and end of the missions. Moreover, high-Individualist teams were more successful and spent more time communicating about Planning in the beginning, and Situation Update for both the middle and end of the task. In contrast, teams low on Individualism spent more time communicating about Planning for all three phases of the task. There were also interesting rank differences in Information Sharing between senior and junior Norwegian Officers that are noteworthy. Study limitations, contributions, and practical implications for military teams and similar career fields were discussed.


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Graduation Date





Fritzsche, Barbara


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program

Psychology; Industrial and Organizational








Release Date

May 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic