HELPING BEHAVIORS IN TEAMS: THE EFFECTS OF MEMBERS' VALUES AND TRAITS
Elron, E. and Sagiv, L., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
This study takes a look at helping behaviors in teams, and how they are affected by values and personality traits of team members. The relationship between the team composition and helping was tested with 156 MBA students composing 31 teams who participated in a semester-long business simulation requiring weekly decision making. Values were measured with the Schwartz' values model, and the five factor model was used to measure personality traits. Our findings indicate that the level of help team members give each other is positively related to the importance of achievement values in the team and to the percent of members with high agreeableness, while it is negatively related to the variance in self-direction values in the group and to the percent of members who are high on neuroticism. It was also found that helping behaviors are positively related to several important processes in the teams, such as cohesion, openness of communication, learning and group efficacy, while having negative relationships with perceptions of fairness in the team and process conflicts. Overall, these results suggest that the psychological composition of teams has important implications for teams' processes. More specifically, it affects the level of help team members are willing to give each other, which in turn impacts other processes in the group that are important to the group functioning.