TRUST CONSENSUS WITHIN SELF-MANAGING TEAMS: ANTECEDENTS, MODERATORS, AND PERFORMANCE IMPLICATIONS
Despite growing interest in and understanding of the role of trust within teams, research has so far overlooked a critical property of trust at the team level. Specifically, while conceptual definitions identify both magnitude (i.e., the overall mean level) and sharedness (i.e., the degree of dispersion or variability) of team members’ trust perceptions as inherent properties of team trust, empirical research has predominantly focused on the former and has largely ignored the latter. As a result, we know very little about how sharedness in team trust perceptions comes about. We address this issue by proposing and testing a model examining the antecedents and moderators of ‘trust consensus’, a dispersion-based property of team trust that captures the extent to which members agree on their levels of trust in their team. Integrating insights from the literatures on diversity, within-team dispersion, and trust, we propose that national culture diversity, virtual communication, and collective leadership interact to jointly influence team trust consensus. Multi-wave survey data from 95 self-managing teams confirmed our hypotheses that virtual communication and collective leadership mitigate the negative impact of national culture diversity on team trust consensus. Our primary study sample, complemented by a small-scale meta-analysis, further supported a positive direct effect of team trust consensus on team performance, over and above the impact of team trust magnitude.