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Team Cohesion

What is team cohesion?

Carron (1982) – Dynamic process which is reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit for its goals and objectives

Other elements within Carron’s Model

  • A model was created by Carron (1982) which differentiated between task cohesion, such as the commitment to team goals and performance objectives and social cohesion which covers friendship and affiliation
  • The model also identifies 4 kinds of factors which contribute to team cohesion, these are
  • Environmental – refer to regulations within a sport and local rules
  • Personal – characteristics of the team members
  • Leadership – relate to such aspects as coaching behaviour
  • Team factors – all the characteristics and relationships of the group, norms and stability.

This model by Carron, on team cohesion, also differentiates between group outcomes, which include the stability and performance of a team, and individual outcomes include member satisfaction and individual performance.

Measuring team cohesion

  • People working together more often that not, will be more effective than the same individuals working alone
  • Individuals may need to make individual sacrifices for the sake of the team they are in and performing for
  • Cox (1994) – basketball team: many players may be able to make high scores, but some may be told by the coach to keep a low profile and not score as often. Accepting this role is vital to make the team successful.

Research on team cohesion and success has mixed findings

  • Some studies have found a positive relationship between these two factors, such as Martens and Peterson (1971) for basketball teams, Ball and Carron (1976) for ice hockey teams.
  • Though, other research has found no relationship between team cohesion and success such as Melnick and Chemers (1974) for the basketball study

A framework was developed by Widmeyer et al. (1985). This framework resulted in the development of the 18-item group environment questionnaire (GEQ), which is now widely used in more recent research on team cohesion. The framework by Widmeyer allows a re mo detailed measurement of the different features of team cohesion.

It was also discovered that all four dimensions of the GEQ are good indicators of different aspects of team cohesion. It therefore allows any specific area in which cohesion is weak to be identified.

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