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Cohesion and satisfaction as mediators of the team trust – team effectiveness relationship: An interdependence theory perspective

Philip S. DeOrtentiis (Department of Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
James K. Summers (Department of Management, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)
Anthony P. Ammeter (School of Business Administration, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi, USA)
Ceasar Douglas (Department of Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Gerald R. Ferris (Department of Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 16 September 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

With extant research on the relationship between trust and effectiveness being inconclusive, the present study attempts to create a foundational investigation that examines the role of multiple mediators in the team trust – team effectiveness relationship. The authors identified the two emergent states of cohesion and satisfaction as intervening variables in the team trust – team effectiveness relationship, and tested this multi-mediation proposed model, within an interdependence theory perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

MBA students at a large university in the southwestern USA were administered two waves of paper-based surveys, which were assigned to project groups. Individuals had been assigned to groups with the intent of maximizing diversity of age, gender, functional background, industry experience, and undergraduate major for each team (this is a goal of the MBA program, not the researchers). The first wave was administered one week after the groups had been formed and after all group members had met in their groups at least once. The second wave of surveys was administered at the end of the semester after the groups had been working together for three months and had completed their final projects.

Findings

The results of the multiple mediation analysis found support for the hypotheses that cohesion and satisfaction serve as dual mediators of the trust – team effectiveness relationship.

Originality/value

This study examined how trust operates through other variables to affect team performance. Two important variables that have been shown to be affected by trust are cohesion and satisfaction. Utilizing interdependence theory, the relationship of team trust and team performance was investigated through the intervening variables of cohesion and satisfaction, as both have been shown to possess properties that potentially represent different aspects of the interdependent relationship between team members. Therefore, this study examines how trust impacts team performance though the dual mediators of cohesion and satisfaction, in efforts to develop a more informed and theoretically grounded understanding of team performance and effectiveness processes.

Keywords

Citation

S. DeOrtentiis, P., K. Summers, J., P. Ammeter, A., Douglas, C. and R. Ferris, G. (2013), "Cohesion and satisfaction as mediators of the team trust – team effectiveness relationship: An interdependence theory perspective", Career Development International, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 521-543. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-03-2013-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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