Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Whitney McIntyre Miller

Second Advisor

Randy Busse

Third Advisor

Dawn Hunter

Fourth Advisor

Barbara Bucklin


Business organizations increasingly understand the benefits of forming cross-functional teams, which include collaborative efforts on new initiatives and solving for current issues in the organization. Putting together a group of people from different disciplines, however, is not enough to obtain the results businesses are looking to achieve. To be effective, groups must form into a team. There are two distinct differences between a group and a team. To build a team, a group must coalesce around a unifying mission, understanding, and agreement on the purpose of the team and what they need to accomplish to be successful. The second qualifying factor in the formation of a team is members of the group must trust each other. I created an intervention based on developing communication techniques in a small group to build trust in a cross-functional workgroup. The purpose of this study was to (a) examine the potential effectiveness of an intervention I created using specifically designed communication techniques to build trust in a cross-functional workgroup, (b) determine which techniques were useful, and (c) assess where improvements could be made. What the study revealed is that a cross-functional workgroup can increase the level of trust group members have with each other and the group by enhanced communication training, including empathic listening and sharing experiences.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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