Informations and abstract
Keywords: Teams; Performance; Work Groups; Interpersonal Links.
The contribution fits within a line of research on social network analysis that investigates the relationship between interpersonal links established in work groups and the performance achieved. The groups selected for the survey are given by sport teams at the agonistic level, viewed as a paradigmatic context of team work. The survey unit is made up of 234 matches played by 10 teams of different sports (ranging from the top professional division to tournaments for amateurs) and belonging to 4 different specialties (basketball, volleyball, handball and water polo). On the one hand the research aims to verify to what extent personal relations affect performance, on the other it measures the impact of performances on the processes underlying the formation of positive and negative links. Regarding the genesis of links, the results argue in favor of mechanisms driven by a principle of distinction rather than of similarity/ dissimilarity between individuals. This implies that positive links gather around better performing individuals (aristophily) while negative links concentrate on under-performing individuals (cachistofobia). As for similarities, positive links are indeed to be found between similar individuals (homophily), limited to the case of the most performing subjects, but this does not imply the existence of negative relationships between dissimilar individuals (heterophobia). Regarding instead the influence of links on performance, the analysis shows that positive links have a significant impact on individual and collective performance, while negative links are harmful to performance especially in contexts where the interdependence between individuals is very high.