Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Emergent Phenomena in Multiteam Systems: An Examination of Between-Team Cohesion

Gia Adele DiRosa

Major Professor: Stephen Zaccaro, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Gerald F. Goodwin, Seth A. Kaplan, Michelle A. Marks

Buchanan Hall (formerly Mason Hall), #D101
May 01, 2013, 10:00 AM to 07:00 AM

Abstract:

The current dissertation explored the emergent state of cohesion through the lens of multiteam system (MTS) functioning. Although MTSs are prevalent in today’s organizational force, we know little about how interactions between their component teams create emergent phenomena within these systems. Because cohesion plays a critical role in functioning at the team-level, its manifestation between teams will be vital for a more nuanced understanding of the cross-team processes that occur within MTSs. In the current study, surveys were administered to active duty Soldiers and leaders in U.S. Army platoons in order to investigate the development and consequences of cohesion among component teams (i.e., squads) in a MTS (i.e., platoon). Findings indicate that (1) perceptions of between-team cohesion are associated with a distinct pattern among between-team interdependence, goal alignment, and leader boundary spanning; (2) perceptions of within-squad cohesion demonstrate a curvilinear association with perceptions of the cohesion between squads; and (3) perceptions of between-squad cohesion were not significantly associated with the platoon’s level of combat readiness. Limitations of the study, as well as theoretical and practical implications are discussed in the conclusion of the work.

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