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Norming and Performing: Using Microworlds to Understand the Relationship Between Team Cohesiveness and Performance1


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    The authors thank Jeffrey Katz, James Shanteau, and Rickey Thomas for their helpful comments on previous drafts of the manuscript. This research was partially supported by the Office of Naval Research Grant #N00014-00-10769.

Clive Fullagar, Department of Psychology, Kansas State University, Bluemont Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-5302. E-mail:


The current study used a microworld simulation to investigate the direction of the relationship between group cohesiveness and performance. The study involved ten 4-person teams who undertook 12 sessions of an air traffic control simulation. Performance and cohesiveness data were collected at each 1-hr session. Using hierarchical linear modeling, group performance was found to predict group cohesiveness and not vice-versa. These findings are discussed with respect to previous research and popular theories of group development.