The motivating potential of teams: Test and extension of Chen & Kanfer’s (2006) cross-level model of motivation in teams

Although individual- and team-level studies of motivational processes abound, very few have sought to link such phenomena across levels. Filling this gap, we build upon Chen and Kanfer’s (2006) multilevel theoretical model of motivation in teams, to advance and test a cross-level model of relationships between individual and team motivation and performance. Data from two samples of undergraduates performing simulated team tasks supported the direct and mediated cross-level relationships between team-level prior performance, efficacy, and action processes with individual-level self-efficacy, goal striving, and performance. The findings provide support for a multilevel, system-based formulation of motivation and performance in teams. Findings also contribute to the on-going debate on whether motivational processes account for performance once controlling for prior performance.