Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Gilbert, Janelle


Even though there has been an increase in the use of virtual teams in organizations, there have been mixed findings on how effective they are in achieving organizational and personal success. In this study I sought to examine if conflict resolution skills could decrease the amount of conflict that culturally heterogenous virtual teams face. Specifically, this study examined the moderating role of conflict resolution skills on task and relational conflict within virtual teams. A total of 137 participants completed an electronic survey with items on task conflict, relational conflict, conflict resolution skills, cultural heterogeneity, interdependence, and team effectiveness.

It was found that conflict resolution skills were a significant predictor of relational conflict, but not task conflict. It was also found that effectiveness had a significant negative relationship with relational conflict. Cultural heterogeneity was not a significant predictor of either relational or task conflict. Another interesting outcome of this study was that interdependence caused an increase in both task and relational conflict, but also led to an increase in effectiveness. These findings indicate that training employees working in virtual teams on conflict resolution skills could be beneficial for organizations that want to utilize heterogenous virtual teams and maximize their effectiveness. Results from the hypotheses tested and their implications are discussed.