Title page for ETD etd-05232016-233229

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Acton, Bryan Patrick
Author's Email Address bacton@vt.edu
URN etd-05232016-233229
Title Working in Harmony: The Impact of Personality on the Short- and Long-Run Dynamics of Team Cohesion
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Roseanne J. Foti Committee Chair
Daniel J. Beal Committee Member
Michael T. Braun Committee Member
  • Longitudinal
  • Team Composition
  • Emergence
  • Teams
  • Multilevel Modeling
Date of Defense 2016-05-09
Availability restricted
Team cohesion represents arguably the most studied team construct as it has been consistently shown to be associated with improved performance. However, although cohesion is now understood to be an emergent state—as it develops over a team’s life cycle—research has yet to uncover the dynamic nature of cohesion. The current study was designed to particularly test the impact of team personality composition both on the initial status of cohesion, and on changes in cohesion over time. 80 newly formed teams performed a highly interdependent team task, and team cohesion was measured over six time points. Personality was measured prior to the task and calculated at the team level, as both an average and a variability score. After performing longitudinal hierarchical linear modeling, results indicated that team personality impacts cohesion differently at initial status and over time. In particular, higher team agreeableness predicted greater slopes of cohesion, but not initial cohesion levels. Also, higher extraversion predicted greater initial status of cohesion, but not greater slopes. These results present important boundary conditions for understanding the role of team personality composition on team cohesion.
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