The differential effect of team members' trust on team performance: The mediation role of team cohesion


should be addressed to Dr Merce Mach, Avinguda de Pedralbes 60-62, 08034 Barcelona, Spain (e-mail:


This study examines team performance as affected by various trusting relationships: trust between team members and the team's trust in their direct manager and in top management. Data for the study were collected from a survey of 690 professional elite athletes (belonging to 59 different sports clubs) playing in the regular, top professional Spanish leagues. The model was tested at the team level. Findings reveal that team member trust with respect to the different foci has both a direct and indirect effect on team performance, and that team player trust and cohesion play a mediating role. This study illustrates the dynamic relationship within teams, and, as such, trust among teammates mediates the relationship between trust in the coach as well as team cohesion in determining team performance. The implications for managing teams in other contexts are also evaluated.