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While organizational psychology attests to the multidimensional nature of team
effectiveness, insight regarding the most important factors contributing to the
effectiveness of sports teams, especially elite teams, is lacking. An abductive
method of qualitative enquiry was adopted to capture participants’ construal of
team effectiveness, drawing on the extant literature in both sport and organizational psychology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 players, coaches, and psychologists involved in elite cricket, with resultant data analyzed inductively initially, before being reanalyzed deductively. Although, the narratives endorsed the value of many of the deductively derived factors, other constructs more prominent in organizational psychology (e.g., trust and intra-group conflict) appeared to be more important than traditional sport psychology group factors. The results revealed six broad themes; culture and environment, values, communication, understanding, leadership, and unique
individuals, with some gender differences apparent throughout. Based on our elite sample’s construal of team effectiveness, we propose a new model representing a practical, parsimonious, and novel conceptualization of the most important attributes of team effectiveness in cricket, with conceivable transferability to other team sports.


  • Culture, Leadership, Qualitative research, Sport teams, Teamwork
Original languageEnglish
Article number1140
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2017

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