Factors influencing team performance: the model of interaction

Vita Mikuličiūtė, Gintautas Valickas


Even though it is widely established, that teams in organizations (as well as in the military) execute very important functions, and belonging to the team is related to various positive findings, there is still a lack of information about the long term teams, performing in a real life situations. Besides it is still not clear, which factors are the most important in predicting team performance and what kinds of relations exist between them. The main aim of this article is to present the most common used variables, describing the team, to distinguish the most important ones, and to indicate possible relations between the variables and the team performance. All the team variables can be divided into several groups depending on the level of analysis: individual variables, describing the person, but very important for the functioning of the team, e.g. resistance to stress or self efficacy, or team variables, describing the team as the unit: team trust, cohesion, and etc. Some authors distinguish three groups of variables, according to their psychological origin: cognitive (shared mental models, team situation awareness, collective efficacy), emotional (perceived stress, attraction to the team, satisfaction, team trust) and behavioral (the properties of team communication, cooperation and coordination) variables. Of course, this list of variables is not final. Since one of the main aims of this paper has been to distinguish the main team variables, we argue that the most theoreticaly and empirically based variables, predicting the team performance, are such: team cohesion, self and collective efficacy (cognitive variables), team trust and perceived stress (emotional variables). The theoretical analysis shows that team variables and team performance are related through complicated (direct and indirect) links. In order to explain the most important relations between the team variables and team performance the new model is presented. The model infers, that team trust influences the development of cohesion between teem members. Cohesion, on one hand has a positive affect on perceived self and collective efficacy, on the other hand, there is a difference between highly and low coherent teams. We assume, that in the teams of high cohesion, collective efficacy is the most important variable in predicting the team performance, and in the contrary, then the cohesion in the team is low, self efficacy should be the main variable in prediction of performance. Besides, very important role in the relation between perceived efficacy and performance plays stress. This theoretical model could be applied for the futher empirical researches or practical purposes, becauses it helps to explain a huge amount of conflicting scientific data and provides ways to raise the efficacy of the teams.

Keywords: cohesion, military team, self efficacy and collective efficacy, stress, team trust, variables relating to team performance.

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