Group Cohesion And Group Performance

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WHAT ABOUT GROUP COHESION? Group cohesion is a widely studied construct in the group dynamics literature. Extensive literature studies show that there is a lack of consistency and agreement regarding the construct and its use among the researchers who have created this literature (Friedkin, 2004;Greer, 2012). Despite the large pool of literature on the construct, there is still a divergent opinion on its nature, typology and its effect on performance and productivity. Group cohesion research has continued to generate interest and popularity (Greer 2012) as a widely studied construct in academic literature. The group cohesion–group performance relationship has been studied extensively and findings by early researchers did not present a methodical connection linking performance and cohesion (Forsyth, 1990; Stogdill, 1972).Though two meta-analytic studies asserted that positive relationship between group cohesion and group performance existed minimally (Evans& Dion, 1991; Mullen & Copper, 1994). However, subsequent studies differed with these meta-analyses on whether the cohesion-performance relationship was moderated by other variables such as level of analysis, task interdependency, goal acceptance, and group norm (Gully, Devine, &Whitney, 1995; Langfred, 2000; Podsakoff, Mackenzie, & Ahearn, 1997). One explanation for this uncertainty in the literature was the non-uniformity in the definitions and measurements of cohesion and performance (Cota, Evans, Dion, Kilik, & Longman, 1995; Mudrack, 1989a, 1989b). The context of group cohesion remains broad and researchers have continued to propose varied definitions and conceptual models of group cohesion. For instance, group cohesion was defined as the “total field of forces causing... ... middle of paper ... ...ng the group within three weeks. This finding leads one to question the role of performance during the first week following a group’s formation. Taylor, Castore and Tyler (1983) examined how performance may be upheld when groups experience success or failure. They observed that the impact negative performance feedback has on cohesion is dependent upon the attributions group members make about the causes for failure. Attributions can be described as the explanations people formulate regarding their own and others’ behavior (Taylor et al. 1983). Their data demonstrated that cohesion may remain high, despite repeated failure and little success. This may be due to group-serving attribution biases. However, there appears to be limited research examining the role of initial levels of group cohesion and the impact the performance has on later levels of group cohesion.

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