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Seven topics areas were examined relating to groups and teams, and the processes and mechanisms that contribute to their function.

1.1       Overview

Chapters 1 and 2 provide context and background for this study.  The notional concept of “teamship” in relation to high performing teams is explained in the context of England Rugby.  The practitioner and colloquial interpretations of this term are described in Sections 1.1. and 2.2 identifying the inconsistency of understanding associated with its use.  Also identified are environmental and antecedent conditions in the 2003 England Rugby squad which were similar in many respects to those recognised in “groupthink” (Janis, 1972, 1983).  As was established in this author’s formative studies (Lees, 2015, 2018b, 2018a), no empirical research literature exists examining “teamship” as a concept.  This defines a clear gap in knowledge, which - along with the increasing practitioner use of the term - suggests a scholarly examination of it may be appropriate.  To design a research study that may allow for the exploration and explanation of “teamship”, it has been necessary to consider the notional use of the term - to describe the actions and behaviours of group members which support the norms of the group - and consider antecedents that may contribute to its emergence in a similar group and environment.  The findings from the aforementioned formative studies (Lees, 2015, 2018b, 2018a), identified that the notion of  “teamship” appeared to be related the cohesiveness of the group, and the desire and commitment of the individual to willingly and wholly commit to its purpose. 

This literature review therefore follows a structured line of inquiry examining seven specific topics relating to the contextual understanding of “teamship”.  The core bodies of literature reviewed are:

  1. “Teamship”

  2. Groupthink

  3. Group cohesiveness

  4. Group stage development

  5. Group purpose

  6. Group interdependence

  7. Self-motivation


These topics are presented in this order to provide the reader with an understanding of the author’s sequential approach to the examination of literature and identification of gaps therein, which ultimately determined the design of the study.  Figure 3.1.1 provides representation of the author’s sequence of investigation.  The introduction to each topic reviewed explains the relevance to that topic’s inclusion in relation to gaps identified in preceding topics.




Figure 3.1.1       Literature review: Development of approach and presentation


1.1.1      Structure of literature review sections


Each section in this chapter starts by framing the particular topic concerned, explaining its relevance in the iterative process, its seminal contributors and concepts, the temporal development of knowledge related to it, current thinking and research, and problems identified by this author that may relate to the topic of this study.

A summary of findings from each topic is provided at a section-level.  A discussion of those findings is provided in the final section “Summary of Literature Review”.  This highlights how the various bodies of literature may relate to each other, identifying problems in topic areas (theoretical, empirical and/or methodological).    

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