We think we can? The dynamic relationship between collective efficacy and performance in teams

Open Access
Fitzgerald, Dinora Rose
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 12, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Susan Mohammed, Dissertation Advisor
  • Susan Mohammed, Committee Chair
  • James Marshall Lebreton, Committee Member
  • Larry Ross Martinez, Committee Member
  • Sam Hunter, Committee Member
  • Daniel John Mount, Committee Member
  • collective efficacy
  • spirals
  • teams
  • groups
  • team performance
  • attributions
  • teamwork behaviors
  • locus of causality
When teams work together in business settings, there are often times when their attitudes at the start of the project seem to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Teams with members that are confident in their teams’ abilities to succeed do well, thus giving them more confidence, which allows their subsequent performance to skyrocket. Whereas teams that lack confidence do poorly which lower their confidence even further. This study addresses the dynamic relationship between collective efficacy and performance in teams and focuses on how these constructs interact over time to form either positive (in the case of the first team) or negative (in the case of the second team) collective efficacy spirals. The study also examines teamwork behaviors as a mediator of the collective efficacy-performance relationship and locus of causality attributions as a moderator of the performance-collective efficacy relationship. The sample was 251 individuals in 51 teams enrolled in a senior level Hospitality Management class at a large Mid-Atlantic university. Participants filled out paper-and-pencil surveys after four in-class performance episodes in which they worked together on a hotel operation simulation. Multilevel modeling was used to test the hypotheses. While none of the hypotheses were supported, ancillary analyses indicate that task interdependence may interact with collective efficacy to impact performance. Implications for practice and research are discussed as well as possible future directions.