The cohesion-performance outcome relationship was reexamined in coacting teams utilizing a recent multidimensional approach to group cohesion (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985). Contrary to the results of earlier studies, a positive rather than negative relationship was hypothesized. Teams with high cohesion were predicted to have higher intrateam communication and member motivation. The latter two variables, in turn, were hypothesized to predict performance. Subjects were 83 female golfers from 18 NCAA Division I teams who participated in a 54-hole tournament. Cohesiveness was assessed by the Group Environment Questionnaire (Carron et al., 1985), and performance outcome was assessed by the team tournament score minus the NCAA differential (handicap) score. Cohesion significantly predicted performance outcome (r2 = 16.7), with task cohesion being the best predictor. Cohesiveness also significantly predicted communication (r2=23) and motivation as assessed by commitment to the team goal (r2=28). Communication and motivation accounted for only 5 % of the variance in performance, with motivation being the only significant predictor. The results are discussed in terms of measurement contaminants, Steiner's group productivity model, and future research needs.
Jean M. Williams is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. W. Neil Widmeyer is with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, N2L 3G1.