Relationships among Teamwork Behavior, Trust, Perceived Team Support, and Team Commitment

By Sheng, Chieh-Wen; Tian, Yi-Fang et al. | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, November 2010 | Go to article overview

Relationships among Teamwork Behavior, Trust, Perceived Team Support, and Team Commitment


Sheng, Chieh-Wen, Tian, Yi-Fang, Chen, Ming-Chia, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


Reichers (1985) proposed that commitment refers to multiple foci; for instance, employees would have more loyalty and ties to those in groups working with them as a team because they could have immediate feedback from these people (Bishop, Scott, Goldsby, & Cropanzano, 2005). Herscovitch and Meyer (2002) showed that compared with ordinary organizational commitment, a more specific commitment focus can predict the related behaviors. Thus, with regard to team commitment, the interactions within the team are very critical (Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001).

According to the findings of several researchers, teamwork can lead to better performance for organizations, such as the enhancement of productivity in the workplace, improvement of service quality, greater satisfaction of employees with jobs, less absence, and reduced turnover rate. However, not all teams are successful because arrangements of the individuals' cooperation in the work may not be satisfactory and the members should be allowed to select teammates (Salas, Bowers, & Cannon-Bowers, 1995). Marks et al. (2001) found that the success of teams in accomplishing their goals is related not only to the members' talents and their effective resources, but is also associated with their interactions, as team interactions are the based on cognition, language, and the members' interdependency. The input is transformed into output in order to fulfill the goals of the teams. In addition, team interactions include the members' behavior, cognition, and affection (Ilgen, Hollenbeck, Johnson, & Jundt, 2005). According to Rousseau, Aube, and Savoie (2006), an individual's inner cognition (inclinations and shared mental model) and feelings (sense of belonging) would certainly be transformed into the behaviors, which would influence the final output of the teams. Rousseau et al. called the process of team interactions teamwork behaviors. However, teamwork behaviors do not refer to one concept, and the members' interactions could be very diverse and relatively different (Rousseau et al.). Thus, after reviewing the related studies, Rousseau and colleagues proposed a framework of task-related collaborative behaviors, including coordination, cooperation, and information exchange in order to measure teamwork behaviors.

In addition, with regard to interpersonal relationships and group interactions in the workplace, trust is regarded as a very important factor (Costa, 2003), as the members' interactions would influence their trust in others. Trust can even be treated as representative of all interpersonal relationships (Bligh, Pearce, & Kohles, 2006). Although Powell, Galvin, and Piccoli (2006) suggested a positive correlation between trust and commitment, findings gained in some studies demonstrated an insignificant relationship (Park, Henkin, & Egley, 2005). In past research on trust the tendency has been to treat interpersonal affiliations and risk undertaking as the variables; however, it is important to distinguish trust from an affective and a cognitive perspective, as it could involve any of the personnel within the organization (Bligh et al., 2006). Therefore, based on the classifications of McAllister (1995), in this study we divided trust into affective-based and cognitive-based classifications. Affective-based trust is characterized by a high degree of citizenship and frequent social interactions. Two parties care about each other, exchange information, and are even willing to share more sensitive personal information or thoughts. Cognitive-based trust depends on different goals and situations. When a person perceives that the past role performance of another person is reliable and that this individual meets professional qualifications, these two people will trust each other.

In addition, some scholars have probed into the factors of commitment from the view of social exchange theory and demonstrated that in the workplace, employees would seek a balance for exchange.

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Relationships among Teamwork Behavior, Trust, Perceived Team Support, and Team Commitment
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