Literature Review Chapter: Cohesion and Team Success

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Cohesion and Team Success

There has been a great deal of research dedicated to attempting to explain the role of team cohesion in team success or effectiveness. There are those who claim that team effectiveness can be gained from social cohesion among team members and others who claim that task cohesions is more important in the team realizing success.

The problem investigated in the research study proposed herein this work in writing is one in which there is a need to understand the role of team cohesion in the realization of success for the team as a whole. Cohesion, as will be demonstrated in this study has been examined in many previous research initiatives. The research has focused on group or team structures and how these structures are either conducive or alternatively not conducive to cohesion among group member. Cohesion however, is little understood and specifically needed is an understanding of the types of cohesion that exist and what in the group structure serves to create or to present barriers to the creation of group cohesion. Because many questions have arisen from previous research studies about the makings of group cohesion and the roots form which cohesion among team members springs, this study intends to examine the literature in this area of study and attempt to disseminate the factors that culminate in group or team cohesion being established.

Research Purpose

The purpose of the research is to examine the issue of cohesion among team members and the link that this cohesion has to the overall success of the team as a whole. The research intends to disseminate findings in regards to group structure and factors that result in group or team cohesion and how this cohesion serves to assist the group in the realization of cohesion among its members. Various types of cohesion exist among members of a group and the most prominent of these are social cohesion and task related cohesion. As well, this work intends to analyze the connection between group cohesion and group performance.

Mullen and Copper (1995) note that group cohesion "has consistently remained one of the most interesting and most elusive constructs in the study of small group behavior, stimulating active research interests in social psychology, group dynamics, organizational behavior and sport psychology.' (p.4) When the connection between group cohesion and performance are examined there are several important considerations: (1) the significance; (2) the magnitude, and (3) the very existence of cohesiveness; as well as the (4) performance effect and experimental tests of the cohesion.

Research Questions:

The research questions addressed in this study include those as follows:

(1) What role does social cohesion among team members play in the level of success realized by the team as a whole?

(2) What role does task cohesion among team members play in the level of success realized by the team as a whole?

(3) How is cohesion among team member accomplished and who leads the team in building cohesion the most effectively?

Literature Review

I. Cohesion and Team Effectiveness

The work of Aric Hall entitled "Sport Psychology: Building Group Cohesion, Performance, and Trust in Athletic Teams" reports a study that sought to provide a better identification of the "correlates of effective team building and the development of team cohesion." (2007, p.1) Hall (2007) reports that social groupings are "part of the human's relationship with society. Groups have power and a culture distinct to itself. Groups contain characteristics that are common to every other group, but they also possess characteristics unique to the group in question. A group has a common fate to its members; a mutual benefit for members, social structure, group processes and self-categorization." (2003, p.2) When Hall states that the group has a "common fate" what he means is that "the whole team wins or the whole team loses. It is the team identity." (Hall, 2003, p.3)

II. Group Structure

According to Hall, the social structure of the group is such that "incorporates the roles, positions, and the status of respective members. The group processes refers to the communication, cooperation, task performance, and the social interactions within the group. This is personal and task interdependence. Self-categorization is the individual value a person feels in the collective group, making the person part of the team." (Hall, 2003, p.2)

III. Task Cohesion and Social Cohesion

A study reported in the work of Mohades, Ramzaninezhad, Khabiri, and Kazemnezhad (2010) states that among the three factors of sports teams and that being "athletes, coaches and spectators -- coaches are the most important ones, Coach in a team is considered as a strong organizer and the infrastructure for progress." (p.25) it is additionally reported in the work of Mohades, Ramzaninezhad, Khabiri, and Kazemnezhad (2010) as follows: "Team cohesion as a social psychology subject is an important factor that converts a non-regular collection of individuals into a team and plays a significant role in strengthening team performance and the feeling of satisfaction among the members (Moradi, 2004).

Team cohesion includes task cohesion and social cohesion. Social cohesion indicates the amount of interpersonal attraction among group members and the extent that the group enables its individuals in reaching their desired goal. Task cohesion is reported to additionally be inclusive of practical assessment of the "level of athlete and team coordinated efforts that show to what extent each team and its members achieve its goals." (p.26)

IV. Higher Collective Efficacy = Stronger Task and Social Cohesion

The work of Spink (1990) states findings that teams that are "higher in collective efficacy also had stronger task cohesion and social cohesion that teams lower in collective efficacy." (cited in: Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) Researchers are reported to have stated findings that "cohesiveness and efficacy positive relate with team performance." (Carron, et al., 2002, Hueze, et al., 2006a, Myers, et al., 2004, Watson, et al., 2001 cited in: Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1)

V. Cohesion Defined

Cohesion is reported to be defined as a "dynamic process that is reflected in part by the tendency of a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives and/or the satisfaction of member affective needs." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) This definition is reported to relate the fact that "there is both a task-oriented basis and a socially oriented basis for group functioning and unity." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) Group efficacy can be assessed in various ways according to the work of Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo (2009).

VI. Self-Efficacy

Bandura (1997) defined Self-Efficacy as an individual's belief in their ability to organize and execute a specific task. Another important type of efficacy for our area of interested is perceived efficacy by the coach of the team. This is defined by a coach's confidence in his or her player's abilities to perform given tasks." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) it is reported that group efficacy and group cohesion have been reported as positively related. (Heuze, et al., 2006a; 2006b; Kozub and McDonnell, 2000; Myers et al., 2004; Paskevich et al., 1999; and Spink, 1990 cited in: Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) the study reported in the work of Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo (2009) states the objective of examining patterns of relationships among team cohesion, players' individual and group efficacy beliefs, and coaches' perceptions of their players' self-efficacy." (p.1) the second stated objective was the determination of "which of the variables could best predict athletes' efficacy outcomes." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) the hypotheses stated in the study were that "group cohesion would be positively related to individual self-efficacy and perceived efficacy by coaches and teammates" and also stated was the hypothesis that "task cohesion factors would predict self-efficacy and perceived efficacy by coaches and teammates." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1)

The study reported in the work of Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo (2009) involved 76 participants recruited from four semi-professional Spanish teams average 23.2 years of age and averaging less than six years experience in the sport. Measures used for cohesion was a version of the Multidimensional Sport Cohesion Instrument (MSCI: Yukelson et al., 1984) that was translated previously into Spanish. This inventory is comprised by 22 items and assesses four factors of team cohesion including:

(1) teamwork;

(2) valued roles;

(3) unity of purpose; and (4) attraction to the group. (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1)

It is reported that a sociogram was additionally utilized that characterized "the social and task relations of the players on the team." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) it is reported that the sociogram allowed for the exploration of the "cohesiveness level and the group structure through the manifestation of attraction or refuse of their members, determining the role of each one regarding others." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1)

Testing efficacy involved use of a questionnaire based on the suggestions of Bandura (2006) used in measuring the perceptions of coaches and players of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Cohesion and Team Success.  (2012, October 4).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Cohesion and Team Success."  4 October 2012.  Web.  23 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Cohesion and Team Success."  October 4, 2012.  Accessed May 23, 2019.