Consensus Emergence in Teams and Work Groups: A Longitudinal Multilevel Modeling Approach

01 January 2017 → 31 December 2020
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Applied psychology
research methods bottom-up processes
Project description

Organizational psychologists have long been interested in how teams or work groups develop unitspecific climates and perceptions. Social interactions whereby lower-level units (e.g., employees) interact to jointly create characteristics of higher-level units (e.g., work groups) are typically called bottom-up or emergence processes in the organizational literature. From a theoretical perspective, emergence processes are inherently temporal in nature. However, the most frequently used method in organizational research—ultilevel models—annot directly model how emergence phenomena develop over time. This proposal investigates an extended multilevel approach—he consensus emergence model (CEM)—hat allows researchers to study consensus emergence in groups over time. The CEM approach builds on variance methods used in other fields like educational research and biological research and adapts these methods to the context of research on teams and work. The CEM provides a formal test for consensus emergence and also allows researchers to model effects of time-varying (e.g. an event), person-level (e.g., leader vs. nonleader), and group-level predictors (e.g., readiness of the team) on consensus emergence. The proposal includes two longitudinal studies of groups that are designed to apply the CEM model in actual organizational settings, and two simulation studies that investigate the ability of the CEM approach to detect consensus emergence in typical organizational data.