Expecting the worst? The dynamic role of competitive expectations in team member satisfaction and team performance

Kevin W. Rockmann, Gregory B. Northcraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study proposes that individual competitive expectations play a critical role in understanding team performance, as expectations shape individual reactions to team behaviors. Expectations, of course, do not always match behavior. When an individual thinks a team task is going to be easy and cooperative and instead meets with competitive rather than cooperative behaviors, that individual is likely to be frustrated and unwilling to work with others in the team. On the other hand, if an individual expects a difficult time in the team and meets with cooperative teammates, that individual could be suspicious and similarly unlikely to work collaboratively. Findings from a lab study using a team negotiation task support the argument that a match between competitive expectations and two emergent team behaviors-team strategy (what the team members say) and team communication tone (how the team members say it)-is critical in determining both team member satisfaction and team performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-329
Number of pages22
JournalSmall Group Research
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Conflict management
  • Expectations
  • Negotiation
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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