Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Psychological Collectivism and Team Effectiveness: Moderating Effects of Trust and Psychological Safety

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Psychological Collectivism and Team Effectiveness: Moderating Effects of Trust and Psychological Safety

Article excerpt


Psychological collectivism (PC) is a value that refers to a person's general orientation toward others when working in groups (Jackson, Colquitt, Wesson, & Zapata-Phelan, 2006). The collectivist favors group affiliation and the collective effort of the group over independent and autonomous effort. Individuals high in PC readily adopt group goals, are concerned about the well-being of the group and its members, accept group norms, and are likely to sacrifice their personal interests for the sake of the group (Jackson et al., 2006; Triandis, 1995; J. A. Wagner, 1995; J. A. Wagner, III & Moch, 1986). PC has been shown to predict certain individual behaviors critical for effective team functioning. For example, high PC team members are more likely to share emotional and informational support (Drach-Zahavy, 2004; Randall, Resick, & DeChurch, 2011), display cooperative behaviors (Eby & Dobbins, 1997), engage in helpful citizenship and impression management behaviors (Jackson et al., 2006; Kim & Lee, 2012; Moorman & Blakely, 1995; Shao, Resick, & Hargis, 2011) and avoid counterproductive and/or withdrawal behaviors (Jackson et al., 2006). Additionally, PC increases the propensity for taking charge (Love & Dustin, 2014), enhances members' perceptions of the team's capabilities (Turel & Connelly, 2012), and promotes team member performance (Bell, 2007; Dierdorff, Bell, & Belohlav, 2011; Jackson et al., 2006).

Noting the positive influence of PC in group environments, and the critical importance of effective teamwork in both business and higher education, more research is needed to better understand the nomological network (Cronbach & Meehl, 1955) of this important team-relevant construct (Dierdorff et al., 2011; Gundlach, Zivnuska, & Stoner, 2006; Jackson et al., 2006; Love & Dustin, 2014). In response to this call the present research has two purposes. First, we extend the nomological network of PC by testing its effects on three attitudinal indicators of team effectiveness: team satisfaction, team identification, and a willingness to work with teammates. Second, we seek to further understand the impact of PC by examining the potential moderating effects of two emergent states, trust and psychological safety.

Psychological Collectivism and Team Effectiveness

A team is effective to the extent it provides benefit to both its members and the organization (Hackman, Wageman, Ruddy, & Ray, 2000). Teamwork requires members to interact interdependently to be successful and much of the existing PC literature focuses on the relationship between collectivism and behaviors that promote goal accomplishment through team member interaction (e.g., knowledge, skills, and information sharing, cooperative behaviors, and citizenship behaviors). These interactive behaviors fall under "team processes" in the input-process-output model (Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001) and reflect the interdependent actions of team members necessary to organize work and achieve common goals. In addition to performance-based outcomes, team effectiveness includes the cognitive and affective reactions that arise through these team member interactions and processes (Mathieu, Maynard, Rapp, & Gilson, 2008). To broaden our understanding of PC, we review literature that supports a relationship between PC and these cognitive and affective outcomes.

The satisfaction of team members has long been identified as an important attitudinal measure of team effectiveness (Cohen & Bailey, 1997; Gladstein, 1984; Hackman, 1987). Conceptually, collectivistic-oriented individuals who favor group affiliations will be more satisfied in a group environment, and at least two studies provide empirical support for a positive relationship between PC and team member satisfaction (Shaw, Duffy, & Stark, 2000; Stark & Bierly, 2009). Team member satisfaction is associated with positive emergent states such as altruism, trust, and team cohesion (Costa, 2003; Nguyen, Seers, & Hartman, 2008; Quigley, Tekleab, & Tesluk, 2007). …

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