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Exploring the Dynamic Team Cohesion–Performance and Coordination–Performance Relationships of Newly Formed Teams
Small Group Research  (IF2.66),  Pub Date : 2020-02-21, DOI: 10.1177/1046496420907157
Michael T. Braun, Steve W. J. Kozlowski, Tara A. (Rench) Brown, Richard P. DeShon

Emergent states, like cohesion, and behavioral processes, like coordination, are considered critical for team performance, yet little is known regarding their relative importance over time. Testing several hypotheses and exploring multiple research questions, this study used a laboratory design to better understand the evolution of cohesion–performance and coordination–performance relationships of newly formed teams. Forty-two teams of three completed 10 task episodes of an interdependent team task over the course of two and a half hours. Results reveal that cohesion and performance have a reciprocal relationship such that cohesion predicts subsequent performance, which then predicts subsequent cohesion. Moreover, coordination predicts subsequent performance, but performance does not predict subsequent coordination. Both the cohesion–performance and coordination–performance relationships weaken as the team works together, indicating that other states and processes predict performance at later stages of team development. Meanwhile, the relative importance of cohesion compared with coordination strengthens with increased team interactions.