Brown: Teams & Stress: A Meta-Analysis & Process Analysis

Dissertation Defense: Brandy Brown
Thursday, April, 21st, 2011 in Brackett 419 @ 2pm

Title: Teams & Stress: A Meta-Analysis & Process Analysis

Chair: Dr. Fred Switzer
Committee: Dr. Pury, Dr. Kowalski, & Dr. Rosopa

Abstract: Past teamwork stress literature has experienced contradictory findings. As more reliable models of teamwork emerge there is still a noticeable lack of information regarding how stress affects teamwork processes. This paper first reviews the current state of the team stress literature, where two types of stress for teams are explored: qualitative and quantitative stress. A meta-analysis examined the current literature on quantitative stress and the impact on team performance and effectiveness. Results from fourteen independent samples (N = 8.250) indicated that quantitative stress has a negative effect on team outcomes, ρ = -.43. Second, a lab study sought to discover if team processes predict performance under stress. Teams of two (N = 26) completed a process control simulation where workload was manipulated to create stress conditions. A multiple regression was conducted to explore if stress would moderate team processes, explaining the negative performance effects. The regression results showed that stress accounted for all the variance in performance, R2 = .83, p < .001. Exploratory analyses were conducted to support potential theoretical bases for these findings. The results provide strong support for a categorization of stress in teams (e.g. quantitative and qualitative stress) as well as an important criticism for how team processes are currently measured.

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