Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Kwantes, Catherine


cross-cultural, cultural adaptation, power, self-construals, trust, trustworthiness




A mixed-methods approach was used to assess the role of trustworthiness in cross-cultural business partnerships. In Study One, qualitative responses from 100 undergraduate students (50 Canadian, 50 Taiwanese) were analyzed to identify cultural similarities and differences in their perceptions of a trustworthy person, employee, and supervisor/employer. Respondents from both countries used descriptors that fit the ability, benevolence, and integrity framework to describe trustworthy individuals. However, comparison between countries and between targets (i.e., person, employee, supervisor/employer) revealed differences in the frequency with which certain types of descriptors were used. Additionally, dimensions of trustworthiness not included in the ability, benevolence, and integrity framework were identified, some of which were unique to a specific culture. In Study Two, quantitative analyses (i.e., multiple and hierarchical regression analyses) were conducted to examine the relationship between perceptions of trustworthiness and power dynamics within a partnership (antecedent), engagement in cultural adaptive behaviours (mediator), self-construals (moderator), and willingness to negotiate (outcome variable). 185 respondents (111 from Canada and 74 from Taiwan) experienced in cross-cultural business interactions completed an online survey. Results demonstrated that power directly influenced perceptions of trustworthiness, and engagement in culturally adaptive behaviours partially mediated the relationship between power (mediated and non-mediated) and perceptions of trustworthiness. Similarly, level of interdependent self-construal was found to moderate the relationship between respondents’ engagement in culturally adaptive behaviours and perceptions of their own trustworthiness. A positive relationship was found between perceptions of partner trustworthiness and respondents’ willingness to engage in negotiations with that partner. Findings are discussed.