Role of Masculinity and Uncertainty Avoidance Orientation in the Relationship Between Team Learning Behavior and Self-Efficacy

Role of Masculinity and Uncertainty Avoidance Orientation in the Relationship Between Team Learning Behavior and Self-Efficacy

Ghulam Mustafa (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway) and Richard Glavee-Geo (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2480-9.ch013

Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between team learning behavior and employee work related self- efficacy beliefs and further explores the moderating role of individual difference variables, such as masculinity–femininity and uncertainty avoidance values. The study tested three hypotheses using a sample of employees from a large public organization in Pakistan. The results indicated a significant positive relationship between team learning behavior and employee perceptions of their self-efficacy. Regarding the moderating role of individual differences, the data showed that the link between team learning and self-efficacy was stronger for individuals scoring high (versus low) on masculinity orientation. However, the results revealed no empirical evidence to confirm the hypothesis that employees scoring low on uncertainty avoidance will perceive a stronger relationship between team learning and self-efficacy.
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Introduction

Teams have become a salient feature of today’s organizations (Guzzo & Dickson, 1996; Turner, 2014), and a considerable volume of research has accumulated that examines how team work affects group outcomes and how individuals within teams influence group processes and outcomes (Dierdorff & Ellington, 2012; Van den Bossche, Gijselaers, Segers, & Kirschner, 2006). However, a scarce number of studies have examined the impact of groups on their members. Developing a deeper understanding of group effects on individual members is important for several reasons. Despite the growing importance of team-based structures in organizational life (Cohen & Bailey, 1997; Kozlowski & Bell, 2013), a great deal of work in organizations continues to be performed by individuals. For instance, group members may work individually and then bring their efforts together to produce a collective product. Individuals may participate in both collaborative groups and as independent contributors, and they may be assigned to perform work in multiple groups in an organization, either simultaneously or sequentially (Olivera & Straus, 2004). Moreover, team membership is fluid in the sense that members of any given team are often assigned to a new team and thus they are unlikely to stay with a team throughout their career (e.g., Tannenbaum, Mathieu, Salas, & Cohen, 2012). Given the prevalence of both group and individual efforts in organizations, it is important to examine the extent to which members benefit from group activities. A better understanding of how the group level factors and processes influence individual level outcomes may not only benefit the team in which the individual is embedded, but also potential individual and team-based work in the future.

Although the focus of the extant research is on understanding the influence of group level effects and outcomes, there are a few exceptions that have reported positive transfer effects (Brodbeck & Greitemeyer, 2000; Jiang, Jackson, & Colakoglu, 2016; Olivera & Straus, 2004) of group experience on subsequent individual performance. For example, Littlepage, Robison, and Reddington (1997) suggest that group experience improves individual members’ task-related skills, and Jiang et al. (2016) recently reported that teams involved in non-routine and interdependent tasks contribute to personal learning of their members. The impact of group experience on individual outcomes has mainly been studied in learning environments (Aguinis & Kraiger, 2009). It has been argued that learning that occurs within work teams goes beyond the teams themselves to include outcomes for individual team members as well (Kozlowski & Bell, 2008). Olivera and Straus (2004) examined the transfer of learning from groups to individuals and found that a group learning climate positively influences personal learning of team members. One of the most widely studied individual-level learning outcomes is self-efficacy (Kraiger, Ford, & Salas, 1993), however, self-efficacy as a core learning outcome has mainly been considered during formal training and development programs (e.g., Colquitt, LePine, & Noe, 2000; Kozlowski et al., 2001). Unfortunately, despite progress in the literature on the effects of workplace learning and training on individuals, we still know relatively little about how teamwork as an informal learning environment contributes to employee self-efficacy. Further, we are aware of only a few studies (e.g., Earley, 1994; Ellington & Dierdorff, 2014) that have considered individual difference variables such as cultural value orientation in the relationship between work place learning and self-efficacy, but again the focus has been on examining relationships in a formal training environment.

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