Using discrepancy theory to examine the relationship between shared cognition and group outcomes

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This empirical study tests hypothesized relationships between team effectiveness and a measure of shared cognition that quantifies the degree of similarity between knowledge of the actual group and beliefs about preferred group states. The proposed model of shared cognition is based upon the triadic structure of actual-ideal-ought cognitive representations employed within self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987). The measure of shared cognition is derived by comparing the actual group-state representations of each member with both the ideal and ought group-state representations of the other members. This extends the measurement of shared cognition beyond the aggregation of individual measures and creates the potential for capturing group level cognitive structures that have the potential to evoke affect, influence motivation and impact outcomes. Hypotheses proposing a relationship between team effectiveness and both shared actual-ideal and shared actual-ought group-state representations are supported.


This article was originally published in Academy of Management Proceedings. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings