Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael Brannick, Ph.D.


Goal commitment, Team interaction, Motivation, Team effectiveness, Altruism


The relationship between team cohesion and team performance has been extensively studied, but behavioral mediators of this relationship have not been adequately assessed. This study proposed that backup behavior mediates the relationship between team cohesion and team performance. In addition, it was also hypothesized that team goal commitment would moderate the relationship between team cohesion and team backup behavior. 138 participants forming 46 teams of three were assigned to one of fours conditions to test this framework: high cohesion/high goal commitment, high cohesion/low goal commitment, low cohesion/high goal commitment, and low cohesion/low goal commitment. Results indicated no significant differences between conditions. However, correlations and regressions based upon self and observer ratings suggest that team cohesion and team goal commitment, but not backup behavior, hold strong relationships to team errors. Finally, exploratory analyses revealed an interaction between team cohesion and team goal commitment on team performance indices. Lowest performance occurred in teams with low cohesion and low goal commitment, but there were no apparent difference between high and low goal commitment in teams with high cohesion. Implications of these results are discussed in the paper.