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论文价格: 免费 时间:2010-02-19 17:25:53 来源:www.ukassignment.org 作者:留学作业网

Leadership team cohesiveness and team performance

Abstract
Purpose – To examine leadership style (transactional versus transformational), knowledge level, and
team cohesiveness as antecedents of team performance.
Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted among students studying for an
MBA. The 252 participant students were involved in a computerized business simulation course which
required forming teams of about six members. Each team represented the management of one firm
that competed with the other groups.
Findings – Transformational leadership was associated with a higher level of team cohesiveness, as
compared to transactional leadership. Both knowledge level and team cohesiveness predict team
performance, particularly among men.
Research limitations/implications – The student sample may not necessarily represent
responses from workers in an actual organization. From a measurement perspective, the reliability
of the one item scale of leadership could not be ascertained.
Practical implications – For improving team performance, a manager should enhance team
knowledge and encourage greater team cohesiveness.
Originality/value – Using a simulated research design, leadership style, an antecedent associated
with individual performance, was also found to be related to team performance.
Keywords Leadership, Team performance, Transational leadership, Transformational leadership,
Gender
Paper type Research paperThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org

Introduction
As with individual performance, group performance is a vital determinant and
frequently used indicator of organizational outcome. DeNisi (2000) argues that there is
a belief among managers and the public that improving performance will assist
organizations in their pursuit of excellence. Probably, the major emphasis of
performance research has been on identifying antecedents and how they relate or lead
to desired outcome measures (Viswesvaran and Ones, 2000). Similarly, for teams,
researchers have asked what goes on when a team gets together in an organizational
framework and which of these variables can predict or enhance performance (Cooke
et al., 2003). Using measures of team performance as the criteria, the present study
examines the interactive effects of three such variables, leadership, which has
traditionally been studied in the context of individual performance, knowledge level
and team cohesiveness. In addition, gender, which has been found to be an antecedent,
as well as a moderator of performance, will be included in the prediction model.
Over the past decade or so, organizations have begun to use teams to a much greater#p#分页标题#e#
extent (DeShon et al., 2004). Thus, when human resources personnel were asked what
they considered their number-one priority, they answered that teamwork and how to
capitalize on it so as to make it work better was the major issue for them (Roomkin et al.,
1998). In a comprehensive review of the history of groups and team usage, Sundstrom et al. (2000) found that the surge of work group applications can be found everywhere
in the organization ranging from production, service, management, and projects. Aside
from management’s perspective, the researcher’s focus on the process has led to many
new insights as to the “correct” makeup of a team that is likely to achieve
organizational goals. For example, Beal et al. (2003) argue that one of the important
goals of organizational research, especially as it relates to teams, is to identify the
factors and processes that give rise to increased performance.
What exactly constitutes a team? Similar to the definition deployed by other
researchers in the field, we define a team as two or more people, each with separate
responsibilities and/or assignments, working together for a common goal (Salas et al.,
1992). It is the latter part of the definition that is most critical as it helps to concretize
the dependent variable here. Achieving the team’s, and therefore, the organization’s
goal can be objectified by examining the team’s performance, usually through a
quantitative measure. By integrating the distinctive skills and characteristics of team
members, better performance is expected as compared to individuals working
independently to achieve the same goal (Naquin and Tynan, 2003).
Leadership
When discussing a team, it seems contradictory to also talk about leThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org
adership.
If a team is truly working together, where is the place of a leader in such a situation?
Yet, even a team has a dominant person who, for our purposes, can be called a leader
who may very well play a central role in determining group performance. However,
little is known of the impact of this dominant team member. The studies on leadership
have avoided group performance and tended to focus on antecedents and outcomes
related to the individual (see Lim and Ployhart, 2004). In a meta-analysis of leadership
correlates, not a single study with a group measure of performance was included
(Judge et al., 2002). Usually, leadership is studied in the context of criteria such as of
individual characteristics and situational factors each of which may also affect team
performance (e.g., DeShon et al., 2004). Our purpose, here too, is to see if we can develop
a prediction equation consisting of various types of antecedents.#p#分页标题#e#
Several taxonomies for categorizing leaders by style have been suggested in the
literature. It would appear that the transactional/transformational leadership theory has
been the focus of most of the recent attention (see, for example, Judge and Bono, 2000).
Especially, with the modern organization and its complexities, this categorization has
allowed investigators to distinguish between meaningful, substantial and practical
techniques. Transactional leadership is associated with contingent reinforcement and
allows the worker freedom to perform as he/she sees fit with the leader intervening when
a problem occurs. Here, the leader and subordinate are involved in a series of exchanges
or bargains so as to assure goal attainment. In contrast, transformational leaders are not
involved in bargaining rather they motivate the worker to achieve transcendental,
longer-lasting goals instead of short-term ones. The latter leader is often viewed as
charismatic, a visionary who provides individual attention and intellectual stimulation.
The advantages of transformational leadership are obvious, especially at the top of the
organizational pyramid, and may be considered as fact as it has been observed across
many studies (Bass, 1990; Conger and Kanungo, 1988).
Although few studies have been done on the relationship between leaders and team
performance, two recent ones do indicate that transformational leadership is effective
for teams. Bass et al. (2003) compared transactional contingent reward and
transformational leadership of infantry unit leaders and found that both active
transactional and transformational leadership are needed to perform successfully. A
passive leader would not be expected to reach desired goals. Also using a military
setting, Dvir et al. (2002) compared an experimental group of leaders trained with
transformational concepts with a control group of leaders provided with eclectic
training. Findings showed that the transformational group had a greater positive
impact on the direct followers’ development and on indirect followers’ performance
than the control group leaders.
In summary, although many argue that leadership effectiveness should be assessed
in terms of team or organizational effectiveness (e.g. Hogan et al., 1994), in reality,
except for a few studies, most investigators evaluate leadership effectiveness in terms
of ratings on individuals provided by superiors, peers, or subordinates (Judge et al.,
2002). In the present study, we examine some of the leadership qualities of the
dominant member of a team, as well as some specific group characteristics, in order to
predict team effectiveness.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org
#p#分页标题#e#
Knowledge, abilities, and intelligence
Probably no other trait in psychology has been studied and tested as much as
intelligence or mental abilities (Schmidt and Hunter, 2000). This truism holds for
organizational research, also. Whether the focus is on the leader or the team,
intelligence seems to play a major role. In a recent meta-analytic study by Judge et al.
(2004), the authors found that intelligence, regardless whether it was assessed
objectively or perceptually, is related to leadership effectiveness. In their analysis, the
criteria included both subjective and objective outcomes. Even if we assume that a
leader should have certain levels of intelligence, why is knowledge important for team
performance? In a recent investigation of this issue, Tjosvold and Yu (2004) argued
that teamwork capability is determined to a large extent by the abilities of its members.
By using these abilities together, they are able to maximize the whole group’s
effectiveness beyond what would be expected from working individually.
The knowledge construct subsumes all types of mental abilities as team members
try to use any and all information for providing assistance, support, and understanding
of the issues involved. Group goals are facilitated when each member’s knowledge is
applied. Tjosvold and Yu (2004) found that applying abilities for mutual benefit
predicted in-role and extra-role team performance. In addition, they speculated that
situational or structural variables (e.g., leadership style) may play a critical role in this
process and recommended that such factors be considered in future research.
Cohesion
One set of antecedents that organizational researchers have studied in relationship to
performance are the social and motivational forces that exist between group members.
Beal et al. (2003) posit that such forces are an integral part of the concept of
cohesiveness which, it is argued, facilitates better performance. Group cohesion
motivates, as well as allows, for coordinating activities. Although many different
definitions of cohesion have been offered in the literature, the results from an extensive
meta-analysis of the technique as reported by Beal et al. (2003), showed that, contrary
to a few negative findings in the literature, overall cohesion can be considered a correlate, if not determinant, of performance. In particular, when examining some of
the components of cohesion such as interpersonal attraction, task commitment, and
group pride all were found to be related to group performance. Although these factors
are defined differently across the spectrum of researchers, it is interesting to see that
the social and motivational component plays a critical role in the cohesiveness
construct. Therefore, it would be expected that a group led by a transformational
leader who stresses motivation and stimulation would also evince greater group#p#分页标题#e#
cohesion.
GenderThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org

Research on gender and group leaders has focused on how men and women differ as
leaders (e.g. Carli and Eagly, 1999; Morgeson, 2005). A meta-analysis of 45 studies
found that female leaders were more transformational than male leaders (Eagly et al.,
2003). However, little research has focused on the gender of team members and its
relationship to group performance. In one recent study, team member gender was
examined in relationship to team structure (Berdahl and Anderson, 2005). The authors
reported that besides women’s preference of equality norms in groups, a centralized
group structure was preferred by men and a decentralized one by women. This would
be consistent, though not with a perfect correlation, with a transactional
(men)-transformational (women) distinction. In another study where gender was not
central to the study but was analyzed more like a covariate, Cooke et al. (2003) found no
difference in performance between teams made up of men and women. Using another
outcome measure, commitment, which is often an antecedent of performance, Riordan
and Shore (1997) found that women have higher levels of commitment toward their
work units (groups) than men. As discussed above, commitment, a motivational
concept, is often engendered from transformational leadership. Other relationships
between gender and attitudes and behaviors were not found to be significant. The
authors argue that there may be other structural variables (perhaps, leadership style)
that interact or moderate the gender-performance effect. Based on some of the
differences in gender results, we hypothesize that gender needs to be examined in
understanding the process that leads to team performance.
Summary of hypotheses:
According to the above, three hypotheses were formulated:
H1. Transformational leaders, as compared to transactional ones, lead to higher
levels of team cohesiveness.
H2a. Women see leaders as more transformational, as compared to men.
H2b. Gender serves as a moderator in predicting team performance.
H3. Team performance is a function of perceived leadership style, gender,
knowledge level, and team cohesiveness of the team members.
Method
Sample characteristics
The sample consisted of 252 graduate students of which 54 percent were males with a
mean age of 29 (ranging from23 to 44). All participants were in their last year of anMBA
correlate, if not determinant, of performance. In particular, when examining some of
the components of cohesion such as interpersonal attraction, task commitment, and
group pride all were found to be related to group performance. Although these factors#p#分页标题#e#
are defined differently across the spectrum of researchers, it is interesting to see that
the social and motivational component plays a critical role in the cohesiveness
construct. Therefore, it would be expected that a group led by a transformational
leader who stresses motivation and stimulation would also evince greater group
cohesion.
GenderThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org
 


 


Research on gender and group leaders has focused on how men and women differ as
leaders (e.g. Carli and Eagly, 1999; Morgeson, 2005). A meta-analysis of 45 studies
found that female leaders were more transformational than male leaders (Eagly et al.,
2003). However, little research has focused on the gender of team members and its
relationship to group performance. In one recent study, team member gender was
examined in relationship to team structure (Berdahl and Anderson, 2005). The authors
reported that besides women’s preference of equality norms in groups, a centralized
group structure was preferred by men and a decentralized one by women. This would
be consistent, though not with a perfect correlation, with a transactional
(men)-transformational (women) distinction. In another study where gender was not
central to the study but was analyzed more like a covariate, Cooke et al. (2003) found no
difference in performance between teams made up of men and women. Using another
outcome measure, commitment, which is often an antecedent of performance, Riordan
and Shore (1997) found that women have higher levels of commitment toward their
work units (groups) than men. As discussed above, commitment, a motivational
concept, is often engendered from transformational leadership. Other relationships
between gender and attitudes and behaviors were not found to be significant. The
authors argue that there may be other structural variables (perhaps, leadership style)
that interact or moderate the gender-performance effect. Based on some of the
differences in gender results, we hypothesize that gender needs to be examined in
understanding the process that leads to team performance.
Summary of hypotheses:
According to the above, three hypotheses were formulated:
H1. Transformational leaders, as compared to transactional ones, lead to higher
levels of team cohesiveness.
H2a. Women see leaders as more transformational, as compared to men.
H2b. Gender serves as a moderator in predicting team performance.
H3. Team performance is a function of perceived leadership style, gender,
knowledge level, and team cohesiveness of the team members.
MethodThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org#p#分页标题#e#

Sample characteristics
The sample consisted of 252 graduate students of which 54 percent were males with a
mean age of 29 (ranging from23 to 44). All participants were in their last year of anMBA
program and 98 percent were working. Their main specialization area in the MBA
program was: finance (41 percent), marketing (23 percent), information systems (23
percent), and management and organizational behavior (13 percent). The family status of
the participants was: 42 percent single, 56 percent married, and 2 percent divorced.
Research procedure
The research was performed using the Intopia business simulation (Thorelli et al., 1995)
with updated business scenarios. The business simulation ran during a full academic
year. Its main objectives were to develop the managerial and strategic skills, by
practicing the abilities to manage a virtual global firm, operating in several international
markets. The students were divided into teams of about six students each. A team
represented the management of one firm that competed with other firms who operate in
the dynamic hi-tech PC and chips industry. The business position is influenced by the
industry (other firms in the simulation), by the macro environmental conditions in the
different areas, and by global economy conditions. Each management team is
responsible for improving the firm’s short-term and long-term performance, to create a
competitive advantage in the fiercely cut-throat and dynamic arena in which it operates.
The team performance score was based on team assignments grades and on the
firm performance rating.
Measures
The study included three sources of data. The first was a written questionnaire that the
team members were asked to fill in. The second consisted of exam results from each
respondent. The third was the team performance score composed of the team
assignments grades, and on the firm performance rating.
The following variables were included in the questionnaire.
Leadership style. in order to reduce the possible confusion inherent in asking
questions about leaders in a team setting, we asked the participants to focus on one
central characteristic of each leadership style: task orientation for the transactional
leader and charisma for the transformational one. Specifically, they were asked, “was
the leadership style of the dominant team member: ð1Þ ¼ Transactional: task oriented,
where failure to reach goals is often followed by sanctions, or ð2Þ ¼ Charismatic:
a leader who employs intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration for
reaching his/her goals?”
As leaders were not officially chosen or assigned, members of a team may have had
different individuals in mind when responding to the question.
Team cohesiveness. This consisted of the following three social/motivational items:#p#分页标题#e#
(1) the contributions of the team members were equal;
(2) the team atmosphere was good; and
(3) the team decisions were participative.
For these three items the respondents were provided alternatives along a Likert scale
(1 ¼ strongly disagree, 2 ¼ disagree, 3 ¼ neutral, 4 ¼ agree, 5 ¼ strongly agree). The
alpha Cronbach coefficient here was 0.77.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org

The questionnaire also included the following background data: Gender (1 ¼ male,
2 ¼ female), age, marital status, occupational status and the main functional area in
the MBA studies.
Leadership team
cohesiveness
67
Knowledge level. Another source of data provided the member knowledge level. It
consisted of the exam results of each one of the team members. The exams measured
the knowledge level of the participant concerning the business simulation guide and
the firm management report. The participant knowledge level was based on the
average grades of a written multiple-choice exam and of oral exams.
Team performance score. The final data source was a team performance score. This
score was based on the team assignments grades (34 percent) and the firm performance
rating grade (66 percent).
The team assignments grade was based on the average grade of the following
assignments:
. explanations of the firm’s management decisions during all the simulation runs;
. initial strategy report; and
. in-depth analysis of one of the functional areas.
The firm performance rating grade was composed of the grades of the two stages of the
business simulation: Managing an existing firm (46 percent) and managing a new
venture (54 percent). The firm performance rating was calculated according to the
short term business performance as represented by the accumulated net profits and the
long term potential of the firm (such as: R&D outcomes, investments in fixed assets
and improvement trends).
Data analysis
The statistical package used in this study was SPSS. First, descriptive statistics and
correlation analysis were applied in order to get initial insights. Then, a t-test was
applied to test the means of the team cohesiveness of the two leadership styles. In the
next stage we used a cross-tabulation function in order to determine the frequencies of
the leadership styles for males and females. Here, x 2 tests of independence evaluate
potential differences of the leadership styles as perceived by males and females.
Finally, a linear regression was performed in two blocks in order to find the relative
impacts of the study variables on team performance.

 


 


Results#p#分页标题#e#
Descriptive analysis
Table I presents the means, standard deviation and correlation coefficients of the study
variables. Leadership style, gender, and team cohesiveness were derived from the
questionnaire filled by the team members, the knowledge level was based on exams
grades, and the team performance was measured by team assignments grades and firm
performance rating grades.
It can be seen that the relationship between the leadership style and the team
cohesiveness is significant (p , 0:01) and the relationship between leadership style
and gender is significant (p , 0:05). Team performance was significantly related to
two variables: knowledge level and team cohesiveness (p , 0:01).
Comparing the means of team cohesiveness of the two leadership styles
For the first inferential test, the means of cohesiveness of the two leadership styles,
transactional and transformational were compared. The mean of the team
cohesiveness of transformational leaders was 3.75, as compared with 3.45 for
transactional leaders, tð248Þ ¼ 22:72, p , 0:01. We concluded, consistent with H1,
that transformational leaders, as compared to transactional ones, will be associated
with higher levels of team cohesiveness.
Perception of leadership style by males and females
Table II below presents the results of the cross-tab table using frequencies of the two
leadership styles: transactional and transformational, analyzed by males and females.
The percentages are presented in a bar diagram in Figure 1.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org

Males and females were quite randomly spread out in the teams. Males perceived the
team leaders as being about 50 percent transformational and 50 percent transactional,
while females perceived the same team leaders as 63 percent transformational against
only 37 percent transactional. The x 2 test of independence was significant, x 2
ð1Þ ¼ 3:91, p , 0:05. Therefore, H2a, claiming that women perceive leaders as
transformational more than transactional ones, as compared to men, is confirmed.
Linear regression with team performance as the dependent variable
Table III summarizes the results derived from linear regressions with team
performance as the dependent variable. The analysis was done three times: overall, for
men, and for women. The independent variables were set in two blocks. As hypotheses
relating to leadership style and gender were suggested in the study, they were entered
in the first block so as to examine their effects before other variables were entered. The
second block contained knowledge level and team cohesiveness.
The regression results show that the effect of leadership style and gender on the#p#分页标题#e#
team performance was found to be non-significant, while knowledge level and team
cohesiveness on the team performance were found to be significant related to
performance (p , 0:01). When this was further broken down by gender, the findings
showed that for men, nearly 12 percent of variance was explained.
Therefore, we can conclude that our hypotheses were partially confirmed and that,
basically, team performance is a function of knowledge level and team cohesiveness.
Also, gender is a moderator in predicting team performance.
Discussion
The purpose of the present study was to examine some of the antecedents of team
performance. As organizations have placed many of their functions in the hands of
teams, it behooves us to explain the process and try to understand what will help
produce better, if not optimal, performance. Variables shown to be significant
predictors in other contexts were used here. Team cohesiveness and knowledge are
typical variables that have been studied in research on teams. Leadership which is
usually associated with studies testing predictors of individual outcomes was included.
Finally, gender, a common moderator in organizational research, was studied in two
roles: moderator and as an independent variable.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org

Findings supported some, but not all, of the study hypotheses. From the overall
results, it appears that team cohesiveness and knowledge of tasks were significant

predictors of team performance. Also, as expected, transformational leadership style
was associated with higher levels of team cohesiveness. This popular style of
managing followers focuses on the group process and would seem to fit into the
transformational framework. Yet, contrary to our hypotheses, leadership and gender
were not found to be predictors of performance. Finally, and as predicted, gender was
seen as a moderator of team performance explaining more of the outcome variance for
men than for women.
Besides the theoretical importance of confirming the role of knowledge and
cohesiveness in predicting team performance, it seems that we have shown that the
first of these is important, regardless of gender. This may relate to the fact that for both
men and women knowledge is seen as a way to attain team goals. For all team
members, knowledge, particularly objective knowledge, eases the achievement of the
group goals.
Interestingly, cohesiveness, a variable that relates to some of the team’s functioning
was not found to be an important predictor among women. This was somewhat
unexpected as women are often role stereotyped as being interested in some of the
personal and shared aspects of social interactions that are likely to occur in a team#p#分页标题#e#
setting (Schwarzwald and Koslowsky, 1999). Perhaps, the measure was not sensitive
here to assess this aspect of women’s role. It may be worthwhile in future research with
this variable to highlight specific aspects of cohesiveness that focus on the quality of
the interaction between team members.
In identifying some of the practical implications from the study findings, it would
appear that for an organization to improve team performance, it would be beneficial if
the manager were to provide opportunities for enhancing knowledge level and
encouraging team cohesiveness. Enhancing knowledge level can be accomplished by
choosing teams that incorporate individuals with integrated knowledge that cover the
main functional areas of business administration coupled with strong learning
motivation. Team cohesiveness can be achieved by adopting a transformational
leadership style and building a team with individuals who work well with each other
and are willing to expend effort in order to increase the team’s performance.
Limitations and future research
The study’s advantages are quite clear. Several of the measures such as knowledge
and, perhaps, most importantly, team performance was derived from objective,
behavioral measures. Yet, several of these positive points were accompanied with
problems associated with the sample, namely, graduate students in an artificial game
situation. Would a working group in a real setting behave the same way? The student
setting here permitted a degree of internal validity to be achieved but its external
validity is questionable.
Also, the scale used for determining leadership style consisted of just one item. This
did not allow for measures of internal reliability and may very well have missed some
of the important nuances associated with the leadership construct. The poor prediction
afforded by the leadership measure can be attributed, at least in part, to the use of this
less powerful item. (Interestingly, it did relate significantly to cohesion, asThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org
 


 

hypothesized). A more accurate scale, such as the MLQ, developed by Bass and
Avolio (1991) needs to tested and may allow for a better test of the hypothesis.

Team performance remains a major issue for organizational researchers. Yet, little
data on what makes for a successful team was discussed here. Naquin and Tynan
(2003) argue that, often, when a team fails, individuals are blamed for the lack of
achieving the desired goals. Thus, it may be worthwhile in future research to look at
some of the dynamics associated with team failure in our situation. Would people
attribute failure to the fact that cohesiveness was low, or that a transactional leader#p#分页标题#e#
was not able to extract that extra amount of work required to achieve? Looking at the
causes of team failure may yield the flip side of the benefits.
Finally, there is another aspect of performance that was not gauged here. Recent
research has shown that cohesion, which reflects to some extent the interaction among
team members, would be positively associated with contextual performance. Unlike
task performance which was studied here, contextual behaviors such as organizational
citizenship can be expected to increase when the group becomes more cohesive. For
example, helping and teaching others or working over time on a project when it is not
called for, can be expected from members who have ties to the group and also feel for
the group as whole and not only for themselves as individuals (for a discussion of some
of these issues, see LePine et al., 2000).

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