How individualism and collectivism relate to team performance, team cohesion, and collective efficacy in a multilevel analysis : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
Individual-level individualism (IND) and collectivism (COL), team performance, and team cohesion were investigated as predictors of collective efficacy using Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM). Participants were 153 elite netball players comprising 16 teams competing at either of two national tournaments. The netball players completed a questionnaire the day before their tournament consisting of Carron, Widmeyer, and Brawley’s (1985) Group Environment Questionnaire measuring four types of team cohesion (‘individual attractions to the group-social’, ‘individual attractions to the group-task’, ‘group integration-social’, and ‘group integration-task’), Triandis and Gelfand’s (1998) IND-COL scale (measuring horizontal individualism, horizontal collectivism, vertical individualism, and vertical collectivism), and a collective efficacy measure designed for netball players by Wilkinson, Fletcher, and Sachsenweger (2011). Team performance was measured as the percentage of games won by each team at their tournament. The four types of IND-COL were analysed as individual-level predictors, and performance and team cohesion were included as team-level predictors, of collective efficacy. HLM was used to analyse main effects of individual-level and team-level predictors, and any cross level interactions simultaneously. As overall team cohesion and team performance increased, collective efficacy increased, consistent with previous research. However, when the four types of cohesion were specified as team-level predictors, only the ‘individual attractions to the group-task’ (ATGT) type of cohesion significantly predicted collective efficacy, and performance no longer remained a significant predictor of collective efficacy. Furthermore, at high levels of ATGT, players higher on vertical collectivism tended to have greater collective efficacy. Whereas at low levels of ATGT, players higher on vertical collectivism tended to have lower collective efficacy. This type of interaction had not been explored in research previously, and was a new finding. Therefore, the study highlighted the value in research on how individual-level IND and COL relate to team cohesion and collective efficacy, and offered the first insight into their relationship in a team context.