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Chapter 8- Vocabulary (Group Cohesion)
Terms in this set (15)
Cohesion is defined as a dynamic process that is reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in pursuit of its instrumental objectives and/or for the satisfaction of member affective needs. This underscores the notion that cohesion is multidimensional (many factors are related to why a group sticks together), dynamic (cohesion in a group can change over time), instrumental (groups are created for a purpose), and affective (members' social interactions produce feelings among group members. The definition of cohesion as multidimensional alludes to cohesion as a combination of task and social dimensions.
Attractiveness of the group
Attractiveness of the group refers to the individual's desire for interpersonal interactions with other group members and a desire to be involved in the group's activities.
Means control refers to the benefits that a member can derive by being associated with the group. For example, playing for a highly ranked college football team might increase an athlete's recognition and value in the draft.
Task cohesion reflects the degree to which members of a group work together to achieve common goal. In sport, a common goal would be winning a championship, which in part demands on the team's coordinated effort or teamwork.
(Task cohesion refers to the degree to which group members work together to achieve common goals and objectives)
Social cohesion, on the other hand, reflects the degree to which members of a team like each other and enjoy one another's company. Social cohesion is often equated with interpersonal attraction. In an exercise class, for example, a common goal would be enhanced fitness, and it has been shown that adherence to the exercise program increases as the social cohesion of the group increase.
(Social cohesion reflects the interpersonal attraction among group members)
Environmental factors, which are the most general and remote, refer to the normative forces holding a group together. Environmental factors are present when, for example, players are under contract to the management, athletes hold scholarships, family members have expectations of athletes, geographical restrictions exist, regulations specify the minimum playing time in youth sport program and exercisers pay an extra fee for their class. These influences can hold a group together, although other factors such as age, proximity, or eligibility requirements can also play an important role. In addition, the size of a group affects cohesion: smaller groups are more cohesive than larger grouped. Furthermore, level of competition seems to influence cohesion: high school teams are more cohesive than collegiate teams.
Personal factors refer to the individual characteristics of group members. Although situational factors are fairly constant and usually apply to all teams in a given league, a great deal of variation occurs in personal factors. Carron and Hausenblas classified these personal factors into three categories:
1) demographic attributes (member similarity, sex)
2) cognitions and motives (attributions for responsibility, anxiety)
3) behavior (adherence, social loafing)
Carron and Dennis suggested that the most important personal factor associated with the development of both task and social cohesion on sport teams is individual satisfaction. For example, they found that member satisfaction was the best predictor of both social and task cohesion in the sport of golf.
Leadership factors include the leadership style and behaviors that professionals exhibit and the relationships they establish with their groups. Research has indicated that the role of leaders is vital to team cohesion. Specifically, clear, consistent communication from coaches and captains regarding team goals, team tasks, and team members' roles significantly influences cohesion.
Team factors refer to group task characteristics (individual vs. team sports), group productivity norms, desire for group success, group roles, group position, and team stability. For example, psychologists argues that teams that stay together a long time and have a strong desire for group success also exhibit high levels of group cohesion. In addition, shared experiences, such as a series of successes or failures, are important in developing and maintaining cohesion because they unify a team to counter the threat of opposing teams. Finally, some suggest that the relatively recent factor of collective efficacy is positively related to perceptions of team cohesion.
A sociogram is a tool for measuring social cohesion. It discloses affiliation and attraction among group members, including:
-the presence or absence of cliques
-members' perceptions of group closeness
-friendship choices in the group
-the degree to which athletes perceive interpersonal feelings similarly
-social isolation of individual group members
-extent of group attraction
To generate information for the sociogram, you ask individual group members specific questions such as "name three people in the group you would most like to invite to a party and the three people you would least like to invite" or "name three people you would most like to practice with during the off-season and three you would least like to practice with." Based on the responses, a sociogram is created which should reveal the pattern of interpersonal relationships in a group.
As the sociogram is created, the most frequently chosen individuals are placed toward the center and less frequently chosen individuals are placed outside.
Interactive sports require team members to work together and coordinate their actions. For example, players on a soccer team have to constantly pass the ball to each other, maintain certain positions, coordinate offensive attacks, and devise defensive strategies to stop opponents from scoring.
Coactive sports require much less, if any, team interaction and coordination for the achievement of goals. For instance, members of a golf or bowling team have little do with each other in terms of coordinated activity. Baseball is a good example of a sport that is both coactive and interactive.
In interactive sports, coaches inevitably and explicitly introduce many of the team-building strategies associated with increased cohesiveness, such as ensuring role clarity and acceptance, establishing team goals, and improving athlete-athlete and coach-athlete communication. Team building interventions might have a greater effect on both team cohesion and team performance in that context.
Direction of causality
The direction of causality refers to whether cohesion leads to performance success or performance success leads to cohesion. In other words, will a team that works together on and off the field be successful, or do players like each other more and work together well because they are successful? In summary, the cohesion-performance relationship is complex. The relationship between cohesion and performance appears to be circular: performance success leads to increased cohesion, which in turn leads to increase performance.
Stability refers to both the turnover rate for group membership and the length of time group members have been together. It seems logical that teams that remain relatively constant across a certain period of time will be more stable, cohesive, and ultimately successful. It is suggested that team cohesion and stability are related in a circular fashion. That is, the longer the team has been together, the more likely it is that cohesion will develop, and the more cohesive the team becomes, the less likely it is that members will choose to leave.
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