An Investigation of the Antecedents and Consequences of Group-Level Confidence1


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    A portion of Cynthia Lee's work on this manuscript was conducted while she was a visiting professor in the Department of Management of Organizations, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. A portion of Philip Bobko's work on this manuscript was conducted while he was at the Department of Management, Syracuse University.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Cynthia Lee, 304 Hayden Hall, College of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail:


To examine the power of group confidence, the nomological network of group potency (generalized confidence) and group efficacy (task-specific confidence) is detailed. These constructs are embedded in a causal model including both antecedent and consequent variables. Results obtained within a collective cultural context suggest that group cohesion and group norms are antecedents to group confidence, and task performance and satisfaction are consequences. The empirical effects for group potency were robust, but those for group efficacy were surprisingly nonsignificant. This study shows that generalized confidence (group potency) is a stronger predictor of group outcomes than is group efficacy when the group members are unfamiliar with the complex tasks at hand. Implications for future research and group training are noted.