The Relationship Between Team Sex Composition and Team Performance in the Context of Training Complex, Psychomotor, Team–based Tasks
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The objective of this study was to investigate the role of team sex composition in team training performance and team processes in the context of a complex, psychomotor, information–processing task. With the growing number of women in the workplace, the role of, and implications for, team sex composition is an important research question because there are performance domains, such as psychomotor tasks, where replicable sex differences have been documented. We used 92 four–person teams to investigate the relationship between team sex composition, team declarative knowledge, team–efficacy, team communication, team cohesion, and team performance on a complex, psychomotor, information–processing task. The results indicate that team sex composition was significantly related to team performance and team declarative knowledge. Furthermore, team performance and team declarative knowledge showed significant mean differences across the levels of team sex composition, such that teams with a larger proportion of males had higher scores on each of the variables. As hypothesized, team communication showed an opposite effect where teams with higher proportions of females reported larger amounts of communication, but none of the team sex composition pairwise comparisons were significantly different. The posited relationship between team cohesion and team homogeneity was not supported. Finally, there was no evidence for any of the process variables moderating the relationship between team sex composition and team performance. Team sex composition may be an important variable in training situations where past sex differences have been demonstrated on the performance task of interest. The findings suggest the need to consider instructional design strategies that may mitigate the negative effects of team sex composition on team performance. Future research is needed to determine the extent to which findings from this single study generalize to other psychomotor task domains and how all–female teams will perform under similar circumstances.
Jarrett, Steven (2010). The Relationship Between Team Sex Composition and Team Performance in the Context of Training Complex, Psychomotor, Team–based Tasks. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from