Article

Self-construal as a moderator of the effects of task and reward interdependence on group performance. (individualism, collectivism, productivity).

Authors:
  • Reichman University (Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya)
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Abstract

The study investigated individual and team productivity as a function of two managerial practices-reward allocation and task design-which serve as motivational determinants in teamwork, and their interaction with the dispositional variables of Individualist (or independent) and collectivist (or interdependent) self-construal (Markus and Kitayama, 1991). People with individualist self-construal see themselves as autonomous from others and self-reliant, and emphasize personal interests, internal attributes, and uniqueness. People with collectivist self-construal conform to expectations of others and the social norms, and emphasize connectedness, social context, and relationships. The study tested the general hypothesis that congruence among self-construal and the levels of interdependence among team members (the latter being determined by the nature of the team's task and reward structures) is positively related to the task performance of individuals and teams. Specifically, it was hypothesized that people with strong individualist self-construal would perform better and perceive higher quality team processes under low levels of task interdependence and when rewarded individually as compared to people with low levels of individualist self-construal. On the other hand, people with strong collectivist self-construal would perform better and perceive higher quality team processes under high levels of task interdependence and with team based rewards as compared to people with lower levels of collectivist self-construal. The experiment was a mixed factorial design with two manipulated variables (task interdependence: high, low; reward interdependence: individual, group), and two measured continuous variables (individualist and collectivist self-construal) using 52 three-person teams working in a laboratory setting on a verbal performance task. Results demonstrated that at the individual and team levels of analysis, performance was best when self-construal was congruent with the levels of task interdependence and, partially, with the levels of task and reward interdependence. Hypotheses regarding team processes and individual satisfaction were not confirmed. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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