Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Psychology

Date of Defense

4-13-2011

Graduate Advisor

Stephanie M. Merritt, PhD

Committee

John Meriac

Mark Tubbs

Abstract

As teams are highly prevalent in organizations, it is beneficial to examine inputs that facilitate effective team processes and outcomes. This research examined the relationship between goal orientation and important team processes (communication, interpersonal conflict, task conflict, and social loafing) and how these processes, in turn, impacted team performance and satisfaction. The moderating role of task interdependence was also examined. Information was gathered from 270 individuals (83 teams) who were enrolled in graduate and undergraduate courses that required a team project. Results indicated that team learning goal orientation was positively related to increased communication and decreased task conflict, interpersonal conflict, and social loafing. Prove goal orientation was significantly related to communication. Avoid goal orientation was related to decreased communication and increased interpersonal conflict. In contrast to past literature, no significant relationships were found between team processes and team performance and satisfaction; however, task interdependence did moderate the relationship between task conflict and performance along with the relationship between social loafing and satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications concerning team goal orientation are discussed.

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