Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Institution Granting Degree

University of Washington

Cedarville University School or Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Terence Mitchell

Second Advisor

Sally Fuller

Third Advisor

John Miyamoto

Abstract

The use of teams is becoming prevalent in American organizations. The United States Air Force for example, employs aircrew teams on the majority of their aircraft. This thesis focuses on system and motivational variables that influence the performance of aircraft teams. Two potentially important team variables are identified and examined in three research studies. Transactive memory is a system which combines the knowledge possessed by individual team members with a shared awareness of who knows what, who is good at what, and who does what. Collective efficacy is the group's collective belief that it can perform a specific task. This research tests these two constructs as competing constructs in explaining team performance. A laboratory and two field studies are conducted to determine the effects of transactive memory and collective efficacy on team performance. The results indicate that transactive memory has a consistent and positive relationship with performance across studies. However, the relationship failed to reach statistical significance due to small sample sizes. Change in the composition of the team due to turnover is shown to be detrimental to transactive memory. In addition, transactive memory makes important contributions to the team's collective efficacy. In operational environments. collective efficacy is significantly related to higher performance. A confident team is a more effective team. These results are discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical significance.

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