2022代写作业美国MBA Essay 指导样本
Leadership team cohesiveness and team performance
AbstractPurpose – To examine leadership style (transactional versus transformational), knowledge level, andteam cohesiveness as antecedents of team performance.Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted among students studying for anMBA. The 252 participant students were involved in a computerized business simulation course whichrequired forming teams of about six members. Each team represented the management of one firmthat competed with the other groups.Findings – Transformational leadership was associated with a higher level of team cohesiveness, ascompared to transactional leadership. Both knowledge level and team cohesiveness predict teamperformance, particularly among men.Research limitations/implications – The student sample may not necessarily representresponses from workers in an actual organization. From a measurement perspective, the reliabilityof the one item scale of leadership could not be ascertained.Practical implications – For improving team performance, a manager should enhance teamknowledge and encourage greater team cohesiveness.Originality/value – Using a simulated research design, leadership style, an antecedent associatedwith individual performance, was also found to be related to team performance.Keywords Leadership, Team performance, Transational leadership, Transformational leadership,GenderPaper type Research paperThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org IntroductionAs with individual performance, group performance is a vital determinant andfrequently used indicator of organizational outcome. DeNisi (2000) argues that there isa belief among managers and the public that improving performance will assistorganizations in their pursuit of excellence. Probably, the major emphasis ofperformance research has been on identifying antecedents and how they relate or leadto desired outcome measures (Viswesvaran and Ones, 2000). Similarly, for teams,researchers have asked what goes on when a team gets together in an organizationalframework and which of these variables can predict or enhance performance (Cookeet al., 2003). Using measures of team performance as the criteria, the present studyexamines the interactive effects of three such variables, leadership, which hastraditionally been studied in the context of individual performance, knowledge leveland team cohesiveness. In addition, gender, which has been found to be an antecedent,as well as a moderator of performance, will be included in the prediction model.Over the past decade or so, organizations have begun to use teams to a much greater#p#分页标题#e#extent (DeShon et al., 2004). Thus, when human resources personnel were asked whatthey considered their number-one priority, they answered that teamwork and how tocapitalize on it so as to make it work better was the major issue for them (Roomkin et al.,1998). In a comprehensive review of the history of groups and team usage, Sundstrom et al. (2000) found that the surge of work group applications can be found everywherein the organization ranging from production, service, management, and projects. Asidefrom management’s perspective, the researcher’s focus on the process has led to manynew insights as to the “correct” makeup of a team that is likely to achieveorganizational goals. For example, Beal et al. (2003) argue that one of the importantgoals of organizational research, especially as it relates to teams, is to identify thefactors and processes that give rise to increased performance.What exactly constitutes a team? Similar to the definition deployed by otherresearchers in the field, we define a team as two or more people, each with separateresponsibilities and/or assignments, working together for a common goal (Salas et al.,1992). It is the latter part of the definition that is most critical as it helps to concretizethe dependent variable here. Achieving the team’s, and therefore, the organization’sgoal can be objectified by examining the team’s performance, usually through aquantitative measure. By integrating the distinctive skills and characteristics of teammembers, better performance is expected as compared to individuals workingindependently to achieve the same goal (Naquin and Tynan, 2003).LeadershipWhen discussing a team, it seems contradictory to also talk about leThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org adership.If a team is truly working together, where is the place of a leader in such a situation?Yet, even a team has a dominant person who, for our purposes, can be called a leaderwho may very well play a central role in determining group performance. However,little is known of the impact of this dominant team member. The studies on leadershiphave avoided group performance and tended to focus on antecedents and outcomesrelated to the individual (see Lim and Ployhart, 2004). In a meta-analysis of leadershipcorrelates, not a single study with a group measure of performance was included(Judge et al., 2002). Usually, leadership is studied in the context of criteria such as ofindividual characteristics and situational factors each of which may also affect teamperformance (e.g., DeShon et al., 2004). Our purpose, here too, is to see if we can developa prediction equation consisting of various types of antecedents.#p#分页标题#e#Several taxonomies for categorizing leaders by style have been suggested in theliterature. It would appear that the transactional/transformational leadership theory hasbeen the focus of most of the recent attention (see, for example, Judge and Bono, 2000).Especially, with the modern organization and its complexities, this categorization hasallowed investigators to distinguish between meaningful, substantial and practicaltechniques. Transactional leadership is associated with contingent reinforcement andallows the worker freedom to perform as he/she sees fit with the leader intervening whena problem occurs. Here, the leader and subordinate are involved in a series of exchangesor bargains so as to assure goal attainment. In contrast, transformational leaders are notinvolved in bargaining rather they motivate the worker to achieve transcendental,longer-lasting goals instead of short-term ones. The latter leader is often viewed ascharismatic, a visionary who provides individual attention and intellectual stimulation.The advantages of transformational leadership are obvious, especially at the top of theorganizational pyramid, and may be considered as fact as it has been observed acrossmany studies (Bass, 1990; Conger and Kanungo, 1988).Although few studies have been done on the relationship between leaders and teamperformance, two recent ones do indicate that transformational leadership is effectivefor teams. Bass et al. (2003) compared transactional contingent reward andtransformational leadership of infantry unit leaders and found that both activetransactional and transformational leadership are needed to perform successfully. Apassive leader would not be expected to reach desired goals. Also using a militarysetting, Dvir et al. (2002) compared an experimental group of leaders trained withtransformational concepts with a control group of leaders provided with eclectictraining. Findings showed that the transformational group had a greater positiveimpact on the direct followers’ development and on indirect followers’ performancethan the control group leaders.In summary, although many argue that leadership effectiveness should be assessedin terms of team or organizational effectiveness (e.g. Hogan et al., 1994), in reality,except for a few studies, most investigators evaluate leadership effectiveness in termsof ratings on individuals provided by superiors, peers, or subordinates (Judge et al.,2002). In the present study, we examine some of the leadership qualities of thedominant member of a team, as well as some specific group characteristics, in order topredict team effectiveness.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org #p#分页标题#e#Knowledge, abilities, and intelligenceProbably no other trait in psychology has been studied and tested as much asintelligence or mental abilities (Schmidt and Hunter, 2000). This truism holds fororganizational research, also. Whether the focus is on the leader or the team,intelligence seems to play a major role. In a recent meta-analytic study by Judge et al.(2004), the authors found that intelligence, regardless whether it was assessedobjectively or perceptually, is related to leadership effectiveness. In their analysis, thecriteria included both subjective and objective outcomes. Even if we assume that aleader should have certain levels of intelligence, why is knowledge important for teamperformance? In a recent investigation of this issue, Tjosvold and Yu (2004) arguedthat teamwork capability is determined to a large extent by the abilities of its members.By using these abilities together, they are able to maximize the whole group’seffectiveness beyond what would be expected from working individually.The knowledge construct subsumes all types of mental abilities as team memberstry to use any and all information for providing assistance, support, and understandingof the issues involved. Group goals are facilitated when each member’s knowledge isapplied. Tjosvold and Yu (2004) found that applying abilities for mutual benefitpredicted in-role and extra-role team performance. In addition, they speculated thatsituational or structural variables (e.g., leadership style) may play a critical role in thisprocess and recommended that such factors be considered in future research.CohesionOne set of antecedents that organizational researchers have studied in relationship toperformance are the social and motivational forces that exist between group members.Beal et al. (2003) posit that such forces are an integral part of the concept ofcohesiveness which, it is argued, facilitates better performance. Group cohesionmotivates, as well as allows, for coordinating activities. Although many differentdefinitions of cohesion have been offered in the literature, the results from an extensivemeta-analysis of the technique as reported by Beal et al. (2003), showed that, contraryto a few negative findings in the literature, overall cohesion can be considered a correlate, if not determinant, of performance. In particular, when examining some ofthe components of cohesion such as interpersonal attraction, task commitment, andgroup pride all were found to be related to group performance. Although these factorsare defined differently across the spectrum of researchers, it is interesting to see thatthe social and motivational component plays a critical role in the cohesivenessconstruct. Therefore, it would be expected that a group led by a transformationalleader who stresses motivation and stimulation would also evince greater group#p#分页标题#e#cohesion.GenderThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org Research on gender and group leaders has focused on how men and women differ asleaders (e.g. Carli and Eagly, 1999; Morgeson, 2005). A meta-analysis of 45 studiesfound that female leaders were more transformational than male leaders (Eagly et al.,2003). However, little research has focused on the gender of team members and itsrelationship to group performance. In one recent study, team member gender wasexamined in relationship to team structure (Berdahl and Anderson, 2005). The authorsreported that besides women’s preference of equality norms in groups, a centralizedgroup structure was preferred by men and a decentralized one by women. This wouldbe consistent, though not with a perfect correlation, with a transactional(men)-transformational (women) distinction. In another study where gender was notcentral to the study but was analyzed more like a covariate, Cooke et al. (2003) found nodifference in performance between teams made up of men and women. Using anotheroutcome measure, commitment, which is often an antecedent of performance, Riordanand Shore (1997) found that women have higher levels of commitment toward theirwork units (groups) than men. As discussed above, commitment, a motivationalconcept, is often engendered from transformational leadership. Other relationshipsbetween gender and attitudes and behaviors were not found to be significant. Theauthors argue that there may be other structural variables (perhaps, leadership style)that interact or moderate the gender-performance effect. Based on some of thedifferences in gender results, we hypothesize that gender needs to be examined inunderstanding the process that leads to team performance.Summary of hypotheses:According to the above, three hypotheses were formulated:H1. Transformational leaders, as compared to transactional ones, lead to higherlevels of team cohesiveness.H2a. Women see leaders as more transformational, as compared to men.H2b. Gender serves as a moderator in predicting team performance.H3. Team performance is a function of perceived leadership style, gender,knowledge level, and team cohesiveness of the team members.MethodSample characteristicsThe sample consisted of 252 graduate students of which 54 percent were males with amean age of 29 (ranging from23 to 44). All participants were in their last year of anMBAcorrelate, if not determinant, of performance. In particular, when examining some ofthe components of cohesion such as interpersonal attraction, task commitment, andgroup pride all were found to be related to group performance. Although these factors#p#分页标题#e#are defined differently across the spectrum of researchers, it is interesting to see thatthe social and motivational component plays a critical role in the cohesivenessconstruct. Therefore, it would be expected that a group led by a transformationalleader who stresses motivation and stimulation would also evince greater groupcohesion.GenderThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org
Research on gender and group leaders has focused on how men and women differ asleaders (e.g. Carli and Eagly, 1999; Morgeson, 2005). A meta-analysis of 45 studiesfound that female leaders were more transformational than male leaders (Eagly et al.,2003). However, little research has focused on the gender of team members and itsrelationship to group performance. In one recent study, team member gender wasexamined in relationship to team structure (Berdahl and Anderson, 2005). The authorsreported that besides women’s preference of equality norms in groups, a centralizedgroup structure was preferred by men and a decentralized one by women. This wouldbe consistent, though not with a perfect correlation, with a transactional(men)-transformational (women) distinction. In another study where gender was notcentral to the study but was analyzed more like a covariate, Cooke et al. (2003) found nodifference in performance between teams made up of men and women. Using anotheroutcome measure, commitment, which is often an antecedent of performance, Riordanand Shore (1997) found that women have higher levels of commitment toward theirwork units (groups) than men. As discussed above, commitment, a motivationalconcept, is often engendered from transformational leadership. Other relationshipsbetween gender and attitudes and behaviors were not found to be significant. Theauthors argue that there may be other structural variables (perhaps, leadership style)that interact or moderate the gender-performance effect. Based on some of thedifferences in gender results, we hypothesize that gender needs to be examined inunderstanding the process that leads to team performance.Summary of hypotheses:According to the above, three hypotheses were formulated:H1. Transformational leaders, as compared to transactional ones, lead to higherlevels of team cohesiveness.H2a. Women see leaders as more transformational, as compared to men.H2b. Gender serves as a moderator in predicting team performance.H3. Team performance is a function of perceived leadership style, gender,knowledge level, and team cohesiveness of the team members.MethodThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org#p#分页标题#e# Sample characteristicsThe sample consisted of 252 graduate students of which 54 percent were males with amean age of 29 (ranging from23 to 44). All participants were in their last year of anMBAprogram and 98 percent were working. Their main specialization area in the MBAprogram was: finance (41 percent), marketing (23 percent), information systems (23percent), and management and organizational behavior (13 percent). The family status ofthe participants was: 42 percent single, 56 percent married, and 2 percent divorced.Research procedureThe research was performed using the Intopia business simulation (Thorelli et al., 1995)with updated business scenarios. The business simulation ran during a full academicyear. Its main objectives were to develop the managerial and strategic skills, bypracticing the abilities to manage a virtual global firm, operating in several internationalmarkets. The students were divided into teams of about six students each. A teamrepresented the management of one firm that competed with other firms who operate inthe dynamic hi-tech PC and chips industry. The business position is influenced by theindustry (other firms in the simulation), by the macro environmental conditions in thedifferent areas, and by global economy conditions. Each management team isresponsible for improving the firm’s short-term and long-term performance, to create acompetitive advantage in the fiercely cut-throat and dynamic arena in which it operates.The team performance score was based on team assignments grades and on thefirm performance rating.MeasuresThe study included three sources of data. The first was a written questionnaire that theteam members were asked to fill in. The second consisted of exam results from eachrespondent. The third was the team performance score composed of the teamassignments grades, and on the firm performance rating.The following variables were included in the questionnaire.Leadership style. in order to reduce the possible confusion inherent in askingquestions about leaders in a team setting, we asked the participants to focus on onecentral characteristic of each leadership style: task orientation for the transactionalleader and charisma for the transformational one. Specifically, they were asked, “wasthe leadership style of the dominant team member: ð1Þ ¼ Transactional: task oriented,where failure to reach goals is often followed by sanctions, or ð2Þ ¼ Charismatic:a leader who employs intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration forreaching his/her goals?”As leaders were not officially chosen or assigned, members of a team may have haddifferent individuals in mind when responding to the question.Team cohesiveness. This consisted of the following three social/motivational items:#p#分页标题#e#(1) the contributions of the team members were equal;(2) the team atmosphere was good; and(3) the team decisions were participative.For these three items the respondents were provided alternatives along a Likert scale(1 ¼ strongly disagree, 2 ¼ disagree, 3 ¼ neutral, 4 ¼ agree, 5 ¼ strongly agree). Thealpha Cronbach coefficient here was 0.77.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org The questionnaire also included the following background data: Gender (1 ¼ male,2 ¼ female), age, marital status, occupational status and the main functional area inthe MBA studies.Leadership teamcohesiveness67Knowledge level. Another source of data provided the member knowledge level. Itconsisted of the exam results of each one of the team members. The exams measuredthe knowledge level of the participant concerning the business simulation guide andthe firm management report. The participant knowledge level was based on theaverage grades of a written multiple-choice exam and of oral exams.Team performance score. The final data source was a team performance score. Thisscore was based on the team assignments grades (34 percent) and the firm performancerating grade (66 percent).The team assignments grade was based on the average grade of the followingassignments:. explanations of the firm’s management decisions during all the simulation runs;. initial strategy report; and. in-depth analysis of one of the functional areas.The firm performance rating grade was composed of the grades of the two stages of thebusiness simulation: Managing an existing firm (46 percent) and managing a newventure (54 percent). The firm performance rating was calculated according to theshort term business performance as represented by the accumulated net profits and thelong term potential of the firm (such as: R&D outcomes, investments in fixed assetsand improvement trends).Data analysisThe statistical package used in this study was SPSS. First, descriptive statistics andcorrelation analysis were applied in order to get initial insights. Then, a t-test wasapplied to test the means of the team cohesiveness of the two leadership styles. In thenext stage we used a cross-tabulation function in order to determine the frequencies ofthe leadership styles for males and females. Here, x 2 tests of independence evaluatepotential differences of the leadership styles as perceived by males and females.Finally, a linear regression was performed in two blocks in order to find the relativeimpacts of the study variables on team performance.
Results#p#分页标题#e#Descriptive analysisTable I presents the means, standard deviation and correlation coefficients of the studyvariables. Leadership style, gender, and team cohesiveness were derived from thequestionnaire filled by the team members, the knowledge level was based on examsgrades, and the team performance was measured by team assignments grades and firmperformance rating grades.It can be seen that the relationship between the leadership style and the teamcohesiveness is significant (p , 0:01) and the relationship between leadership styleand gender is significant (p , 0:05). Team performance was significantly related totwo variables: knowledge level and team cohesiveness (p , 0:01).Comparing the means of team cohesiveness of the two leadership stylesFor the first inferential test, the means of cohesiveness of the two leadership styles,transactional and transformational were compared. The mean of the teamcohesiveness of transformational leaders was 3.75, as compared with 3.45 fortransactional leaders, tð248Þ ¼ 22:72, p , 0:01. We concluded, consistent with H1,that transformational leaders, as compared to transactional ones, will be associatedwith higher levels of team cohesiveness.Perception of leadership style by males and femalesTable II below presents the results of the cross-tab table using frequencies of the twoleadership styles: transactional and transformational, analyzed by males and females.The percentages are presented in a bar diagram in Figure 1.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org Males and females were quite randomly spread out in the teams. Males perceived theteam leaders as being about 50 percent transformational and 50 percent transactional,while females perceived the same team leaders as 63 percent transformational againstonly 37 percent transactional. The x 2 test of independence was significant, x 2ð1Þ ¼ 3:91, p , 0:05. Therefore, H2a, claiming that women perceive leaders astransformational more than transactional ones, as compared to men, is confirmed.Linear regression with team performance as the dependent variableTable III summarizes the results derived from linear regressions with teamperformance as the dependent variable. The analysis was done three times: overall, formen, and for women. The independent variables were set in two blocks. As hypothesesrelating to leadership style and gender were suggested in the study, they were enteredin the first block so as to examine their effects before other variables were entered. Thesecond block contained knowledge level and team cohesiveness.The regression results show that the effect of leadership style and gender on the#p#分页标题#e#team performance was found to be non-significant, while knowledge level and teamcohesiveness on the team performance were found to be significant related toperformance (p , 0:01). When this was further broken down by gender, the findingsshowed that for men, nearly 12 percent of variance was explained.Therefore, we can conclude that our hypotheses were partially confirmed and that,basically, team performance is a function of knowledge level and team cohesiveness.Also, gender is a moderator in predicting team performance.DiscussionThe purpose of the present study was to examine some of the antecedents of teamperformance. As organizations have placed many of their functions in the hands ofteams, it behooves us to explain the process and try to understand what will helpproduce better, if not optimal, performance. Variables shown to be significantpredictors in other contexts were used here. Team cohesiveness and knowledge aretypical variables that have been studied in research on teams. Leadership which isusually associated with studies testing predictors of individual outcomes was included.Finally, gender, a common moderator in organizational research, was studied in tworoles: moderator and as an independent variable.The Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org Findings supported some, but not all, of the study hypotheses. From the overallresults, it appears that team cohesiveness and knowledge of tasks were significant
predictors of team performance. Also, as expected, transformational leadership stylewas associated with higher levels of team cohesiveness. This popular style ofmanaging followers focuses on the group process and would seem to fit into thetransformational framework. Yet, contrary to our hypotheses, leadership and genderwere not found to be predictors of performance. Finally, and as predicted, gender wasseen as a moderator of team performance explaining more of the outcome variance formen than for women.Besides the theoretical importance of confirming the role of knowledge andcohesiveness in predicting team performance, it seems that we have shown that thefirst of these is important, regardless of gender. This may relate to the fact that for bothmen and women knowledge is seen as a way to attain team goals. For all teammembers, knowledge, particularly objective knowledge, eases the achievement of thegroup goals.Interestingly, cohesiveness, a variable that relates to some of the team’s functioningwas not found to be an important predictor among women. This was somewhatunexpected as women are often role stereotyped as being interested in some of thepersonal and shared aspects of social interactions that are likely to occur in a team#p#分页标题#e#setting (Schwarzwald and Koslowsky, 1999). Perhaps, the measure was not sensitivehere to assess this aspect of women’s role. It may be worthwhile in future research withthis variable to highlight specific aspects of cohesiveness that focus on the quality ofthe interaction between team members.In identifying some of the practical implications from the study findings, it wouldappear that for an organization to improve team performance, it would be beneficial ifthe manager were to provide opportunities for enhancing knowledge level andencouraging team cohesiveness. Enhancing knowledge level can be accomplished bychoosing teams that incorporate individuals with integrated knowledge that cover themain functional areas of business administration coupled with strong learningmotivation. Team cohesiveness can be achieved by adopting a transformationalleadership style and building a team with individuals who work well with each otherand are willing to expend effort in order to increase the team’s performance.Limitations and future researchThe study’s advantages are quite clear. Several of the measures such as knowledgeand, perhaps, most importantly, team performance was derived from objective,behavioral measures. Yet, several of these positive points were accompanied withproblems associated with the sample, namely, graduate students in an artificial gamesituation. Would a working group in a real setting behave the same way? The studentsetting here permitted a degree of internal validity to be achieved but its externalvalidity is questionable.Also, the scale used for determining leadership style consisted of just one item. Thisdid not allow for measures of internal reliability and may very well have missed someof the important nuances associated with the leadership construct. The poor predictionafforded by the leadership measure can be attributed, at least in part, to the use of thisless powerful item. (Interestingly, it did relate significantly to cohesion, asThe Essay is provided by UK Assignment http://www.ukassignment.org
hypothesized). A more accurate scale, such as the MLQ, developed by Bass andAvolio (1991) needs to tested and may allow for a better test of the hypothesis.
Team performance remains a major issue for organizational researchers. Yet, littledata on what makes for a successful team was discussed here. Naquin and Tynan(2003) argue that, often, when a team fails, individuals are blamed for the lack ofachieving the desired goals. Thus, it may be worthwhile in future research to look atsome of the dynamics associated with team failure in our situation. Would peopleattribute failure to the fact that cohesiveness was low, or that a transactional leader#p#分页标题#e#was not able to extract that extra amount of work required to achieve? Looking at thecauses of team failure may yield the flip side of the benefits.Finally, there is another aspect of performance that was not gauged here. Recentresearch has shown that cohesion, which reflects to some extent the interaction amongteam members, would be positively associated with contextual performance. Unliketask performance which was studied here, contextual behaviors such as organizationalcitizenship can be expected to increase when the group becomes more cohesive. Forexample, helping and teaching others or working over time on a project when it is notcalled for, can be expected from members who have ties to the group and also feel forthe group as whole and not only for themselves as individuals (for a discussion of someof these issues, see LePine et al., 2000).
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