Working in Harmony: The Impact of Personality on the Short- and Long-Run Dynamics of Team Cohesion
Acton, Bryan Patrick
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Team cohesion represents arguably the most studied team construct as it has been consistently shown to be associated with improved performance. However, although cohesion is now understood to be an emergent state—as it develops over a team's life cycle—research has yet to uncover the dynamic nature of cohesion. The current study was designed to particularly test the impact of team personality composition both on the initial status of cohesion, and on changes in cohesion over time. 80 newly formed teams performed a highly interdependent team task, and team cohesion was measured over six time points. Personality was measured prior to the task and calculated at the team level, as both an average and a variability score. After performing longitudinal hierarchical linear modeling, results indicated that team personality impacts cohesion differently at initial status and over time. In particular, higher team agreeableness predicted greater slopes of cohesion, but not initial cohesion levels. Also, higher extraversion predicted greater initial status of cohesion, but not greater slopes. These results present important boundary conditions for understanding the role of team personality composition on team cohesion.
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