Collective Efficacy and Aspects of Shared Mental Models as Predictors of Performance Over Time in Work Groups

Erika Peterson, Terence R. Mitchell*, Leigh Thompson, Renu Burr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


We assessed collective efficacy (a group's judgment of their ability to perform a particular task) and some dimensions of shared mental models (models of the group structure, process and the task, that members hold in common) in student groups working on semester-long research projects. In particular, we assessed the extent to which group members had agreement and accuracy about members' past and future contributions to the group project, and agreement about the importance of various task aspects. Groups with higher efficacy early in the semester had more agreement and accuracy later in the semester. However, the reverse was not true; the extent to which agreement and accuracy developed early in the semester was not correlated with collective efficacy later in the semester. Also, groups with higher collective efficacy (as measured early and late in the semester) and more shared mental models (as measured late in the semester) received higher grades on their projects. A number of task process and social process variables were tested as possible mediators of these relationships; however, no significant mediators were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-316
Number of pages21
JournalGroup Processes & Intergroup Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • efficacy
  • groups
  • mental models
  • performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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