The relation between group cohesiveness and performance: An integration.

  • Mullen B
  • Copper C
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Abstract

This paper reports the results of a meta-analytic integration of the relation between group cohesiveness and performance. Overall, the cohesiveness - performance effect was highly significant and of small magnitude. Several theoretically informative determinants of the cohesiveness - performance effect were examined. This effect was significantly stronger when cohesiveness was operationalized in terms of measurements of group members' perceptions of cohesiveness than when cohesiveness was operationalized in terms of experimental inductions of cohesiveness. The cohesiveness - performance effect was not stronger among groups that required higher degrees of interaction for successful performance. The cohesiveness - performance effect was stronger in smaller groups, and among real groups compared to artificial groups created in the laboratory. The separate contributions of different components of group cohesiveness were gauged, revealing that the relation between cohesiveness and performance is due primarily to the "commitment to the task" component of cohesiveness, and not the "interpersonal attraction" or "group pride" components of cohesiveness. Finally, an analysis of a subset of studies that reported multiple measurements of cohesiveness and performance over time yielded a meta-analytic cross-lagged panel correlation analysis. The results of this analysis suggested that the more direct effect may be from performance to cohesiveness rather than from cohesiveness to performance. Discussion considers the implications of these results for future research on the relation between cohesiveness and performance.

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Authors

  • Brian Mullen

  • Carolyn Copper

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