Essay Example on Unpredictable human action multiple Factors

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Intro As an unpredictable human action multiple factors both internal and external are complicatedly tried to understand anticipate and enhance human performance As such it is not rational to concentrate on any one activity mechanism or variable as being responsible for all the internal and external concerns that enhance or impede human performance In any sport or discipline the terms group and cohesion are intertwined if a group exists it has to be cohesive to some extent Cohesion can be defined as a dynamic process that is reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives and or for the satisfaction of members affective needs This definition which represent a slight modification of the one originally introduced by Carron 1982 explicitly highlights the nature of cohesiveness as it manifested in most groups Furthermore the above definition highlight that cohesion is multidimensional There are many factors that cause any group to stick together and remain united and those factors may not be present in equal weight and intensity in another apparently identical group A second property emphasized by this definition is that cohesion is dynamic that means is not as transitory a state but neither is it as stable as a trait Cohesion in a group can and does change over time so that the factor s contributing to cohesion early in a group s history may or may not be critical for example when the group is well developed A third property that the above definition is intended to highlight is the instrumental nature of cohesion that is all groups form for a purpose 



Moreover in the past decades the increase of teams and work groups within an organization or club has aroused a particular interest between sport psychologist it is also not surprising that numerous authors and experts have attempted to define and measure cohesion in order to achieve the best benefits possible unfortunately it is difficult to measure a theoretical construct which is by definition an abstraction and therefore not directly observable However this executive summary and the intervention protocol that follows seek to better understand the influence and relationship of group cohesion on team performance in sports This will be achieved through understanding how internal processes interact with external demands and environmental stimuli Main body There is a relatively large body of literature on the relationship between group cohesion and team success disciplines including sports organizational behavior industrial psychology and management Carron Bray Eys 2002 Devine Clayton Phillips Dunford Melner 1999 Sawyer Guinan 1998 Straus 1999 Yang and Tang 2004 The study of group cohesion in sport and its relationship to team effectiveness has had a long rich tradition The relationship between group cohesion and team success has been widely explored e g Carron Chelladurai 1981 Landers Lüschen 1974 Lenk 1969 Mullen and Copper 1994 carried out meta analysis of 49 studies of diverse teams e g military sport commercial and concluded that the relationship between group cohesion and team performance was explicitly positive This finding was replicated in more recent works Beal et al 2003 Evans Dion 2012 which also found a positive relationship between group cohesion and team performance

This makes sense when one considers that high group cohesion represents many trusted relationships over which knowledge resources and opportunities can flow within the group and it is these trusted relationships that can generate greater performance Similarly increases in performance can lead to higher levels of group cohesion as success in turn breeds collegiality But what of the Dark Side of Social Capital theory can a team have too much cohesion Can group cohesion reach a point after which returns diminish Lechner et al 2010 Dark Side of Social Capital theory suggests that in social networks too much of a good thing can be a bad thing i e when correlating social network measures with performance an inverse U relationship is often found Put another way an optimal amount of group cohesion will exist at which point performance will be maximized Too little or too much past that optimal point will lead to decreased team performance Too little cohesion will result in a team riddled with structural holes These structural holes might serve to undermine the transfer of knowledge opportunity or resources On the other side of optimal too much group cohesion may require extraordinary personal efforts to maintain and may lead to groupthink undermining the friction required to spur innovation Langfred 2004 Measurement

From a historical perspective the instrument that has had the most significant impact on cohesion research in sport psychology is the Martens et al 1972 Sport cohesiveness questionnaire SCQ It was the first inventory to have a specific sport orientation and the 7 item SCQ assesses team cohesion through group members ratings of friendship interpersonal attraction personal power or influence enjoyment closeness teamwork sense of belonging and perceived value of membership The 7 items have been considered independently Arnold Straub 1973 and in categories where the combinations of them were assumed to be conceptually meaningful Carron Chelladurai 1981 A strength of the SCQ is its multidimensional perspective one limitation however is that with the exception of the teamwork item the task and social bases for unity are confounded Also as Gill 1977 noted the SCQ may possess face validity but published evidence for its reliability and other forms of validity is not available


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