When confidence comes too soon: Collective efficacy, conflict and group performance over time

Jack A. Goncalo, Evan G. Polman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Groups with a strong sense of collective efficacy set more challenging goals, persist in the face of difficulty, and are ultimately more likely to succeed than groups who do not share this belief. Given the many advantages that may accrue to groups who are confident, it would be logical to advise groups to build a strong sense of collective efficacy as early as possible. However, drawing on Whyte's (1998) theory of collective efficacy and groupthink, we argue that when confidence emerges toward the begining of a group's existence, group members may be less likely to engage in productive conflicts that are necessary to function effectively. Therefore, a strong sense of collective efficacy early in a group's existence might actually have a negative effect on group performance over time. We found support for these predictions in a longitudinal study of classroom project teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event67th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2007 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2007Aug 8 2007


Other67th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA


  • Collective efficacy
  • Group performance
  • Process conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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