Cohesion and Team Success There 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

"Reponses given were on a 5-point Likert scale anchored at the extremes by strongly disagree and strongly agree." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) the results reported "show a significant relationship between team members' perceptions of efficacy and each of the four sociogram factors, with correlations exceeding .30 in each case and in the hypothesized direction." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) Individual self-efficacy in relation to the link with cohesion factors resulted in findings as follows:

"…individual level self-efficacy was significantly correlated with each of the cohesion dimensions except for unity of purpose. Self-efficacy by itself was only significantly related to positive social relations, and to the two cohesion dimensions of teamwork and attraction to group." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1)

Also found to be among the cohesion factors were relationships and teamwork is reported to have had "a significant relationship with the rest of the components and attraction to the group and valued roles had a particularly strong relationship (r = 0.69, p < 0.05). Attraction to the group and valued roles were related to the sociogram variables and in the anticipated direction." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) it is reported that a hierarchical regression analyses was utilized in order to gain a better understanding of the relationship "between team cohesion and coaches' perceptions of efficacy and the coaches' perceptions of their athlete's efficacy" served as the dependent variable. (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1)

The study findings show that "43% of the variance in coaches' perceptions of efficacy was explained by the variables of valued roles, unity of purpose, and positive social relations. The strongest predictor was valued roles, which accounted for 22% of the variance. Those players who tend to have an important role tend to be rated by their coaches as having greater efficacy." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva and Calvo, 2009, p.1)

The work of Brandon (2002) entitled "Team Cohesion and Success: Is There Really a Demonstrable Link?" reports that the key question for research in sport psychology "…is to prove that teams with greater cohesion are more successful. In addition, this is a question that various researchers have been grappling with for around 30 years. Famously, a German researcher called Hans Lenk") disproved the notion that only cohesive groups could win by showing data collected from the notoriously dysfunctional German rowing eight that was successful in the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games. Anecdotally, Olympic rowing provides another famous example of how low cohesion and success can mix, as 1988 GB gold medalists Holmes and Redgrave were supposedly not the best of pals! In subsequent Games (1992 and 1996), however, winners Redgrave and Pinsent were highly cohesive (from an outsider's viewpoint at least)." (Brandon, 2002, p.1)

According to Brandon these examples result in doubt concerning the assumption that the higher the cohesion the more likely the team will experience success "…, although a reasonable amount of research carried out in the 1970s and 1980s supported this assumption." (Brandon, 2002, p.1) However, Brandon states that if the relationship "between cohesion and success is not cut and dried, this raises more questions" including those stated as follows:

(1) if winning is possible without cohesion, how important is cohesion to the winning formula?

(2) Are there specific aspects of cohesion that are crucial for team success and others that are less important? (Brandon, 2002, p.1)

Brandon states that psychology researchers, if they are to make provision of reliable answers to these stated questions "…need to be able to analyze and measure team cohesion with validity. In science, the term validity refers to how well your measuring tool actually assesses what you are aiming to measure. In physical terms, a ruler is obviously a highly valid measure of length; but in the realms of psychology, in which variations in individual perceptions are involved, validity is not so easy to establish. A research team led by Albert Carron concluded that much of the early research on cohesion was limited by the less- than-rigorous Sport Cohesiveness Questionnaire in uses at this time." (Brandon, 2002, p.1)

VII. Group Environment Questionnaire

Carron and his colleagues set out to developed a tool that was more reliable and developed the 'Group Environment Questionnaire' (GEQ). Brandon reports that the objectives of Carron and his group were to "base this new tool on a sound concept of what cohesion actually involved for sports teams. They argued that previous research had over simplified the concept of cohesion by measuring one particular aspect, such as the perceived attraction of the group members to each other." (Brandon, 2002, p.1)

Brandon reports that there is obviously "more to the dynamics of the formation and workings of groups than how much the individual members like each other." (Brandon, 2002, p.1) Four key contributing factors were identified by Carron et al.'s., model of cohesion that are shown to interact and to facilitate social or task cohesion:

(1) environmental;

(2) personal;

(3) team and (4) leadership. (Brandon, 2002, p.1)

VIII. Categories Measured by GEQ

The following categories are measured by the model:

(1) Individuals' perception of the 'group integration social';

(2) Individuals' personal attraction to 'group social';

(3) Individuals' perception of group task ('group integration task');

(4) Individuals' personal attraction to group task. (Brandon, 2002, p.1)

The GEQ is reported to be comprised by four or five questions in each of the categories. Brandon reports that the beliefs of the researchers are that it is effective in measuring cohesion through analysis of the different components and this has been affirmed by other research teams. Brandon additionally reports that research into cohesion using the GEQ "suggests that 'task' cohesion is more important for team success than 'social' cohesion. And this could explain the equivocal results of earlier cohesion studies, and why it is sometimes possible for successful team mates to actively dislike each other and still win. Most coaches and athletes prefer team mates to like each other, but it appears that as long as they are completely focused on their common task and share the cohesion is more important for team success than social cohesion." (Brandon, 2002, p.1)

Hall (2007) reports that group cohesion "is a dynamic process where the group tends to remain together and united in the pursuit of its goal for the satisfaction of the affective needs of group members. It is multidimensional, dynamic, instrumental, and affective. Individual and group aspects of cohesion are based on the beliefs and perceptions of individual group members. Group integration concerns the beliefs that individual members hold about the team. Individual attractions to the group relates to the member's beliefs about what attracted him to the team. These two categories are each subdivided into task and social orientations. These things together create an individual and group sense of team cohesion. A highly cohesive group is more likely to be united and committed to success that a group with low cohesion." (Hall, 2007, p.3) Cohesion among teams is existent where there is a purpose that is both common and united. Hall states "A challenge to any team is the maintenance of the team, rather than focusing on the individual. If a team is composed of outstanding individuals, the focus may be too heavily on the contributions and performance of those individuals, and as such the collective team will underperform. Teams composed of modest members are more likely to exceed all expectations." (2007, p.4)


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Heuze, J.P., Sarrazin P., Masiero, M., Raimbault R. And Thomas, J.P. (2006b) the relationships of perceived motivational climate to cohesion and collective efficacy in…

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