Date of Award

Summer 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Donald D. Davis

Committee Member

Terry L. Dickinson

Committee Member

Debra A. Major

Committee Member

Steven D. Maurer


Teamwork has always been a challenge in China, and the importance of teamwork has not been well recognized. This study was designed to explore the underlying definition of teamwork that Chinese people use to describe their teams, to identify variables related to teamwork, to develop a new framework and measure of teamwork in Chinese organizations, and to test the psychometric properties of the measure as well as the structural relationships of the new framework of teamwork in Chinese teams. This study also examines the influence of guanxi---an important Chinese cultural value that emphasizes exchange and reciprocity in relationships---on teamwork in Chinese organizations.

A model of teamwork was created and tested in China. This model of teamwork includes the following variables: task interdependence, guanxi, team orientation, team leadership, communication, monitoring, feedback, backup, coordination, and team performance. A questionnaire was administrated to 1657 individuals representing 323 teams from a variety of functions in five Chinese organizations. Structural equation modeling was used to test the measurement model and the structural model at the team level of analysis.

Empirical support was found for most of the hypothesized relationships. A revised model was tested and the fit was improved substantially. One of the most important results of this study was discovery of positive effects for guanxi, communication, and team leadership on other team components and team performance. The current study provides a foundation for exploring teamwork process and appropriate measures for Chinese teams. The results derived from this research can be used to guide additional research that improves our understanding of the complex teamwork process in Chinese organizations.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).