Teamwork and well-being
: the role of social support

  • Joanna F.L Bell

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis explores, in a team context, using the Michigan Model, the relationship between social support, stress and well-being outcomes. The studies reported were carried out in Post Office Ltd. Study one examines differences in social support source and type for employees working in teams and quasi teams. Analysis was carried out at the individual level. The results supported previous work on well-being in teams: individuals working in teams report significantly higher levels of well-being, job satisfaction and organisational commitment than those individuals in quasi teams. Members of teams reported greater satisfaction with support from their manager and colleagues, and all types of support compared to members of quasi teams. Manager support and specific types of support mediated the relationship between team working and well-being outcomes. In terms of stressors, satisfaction with manager support and emotional challenge predicted greater influence which was positively related to the well-being outcomes. Study two conducted at the team level builds on relationships established in study one. Stage one explored teamness, the extent to which, along a continuum the team was well-defined. Stage two explored teamness agreement, the extent to which the team agreed on their teamness. The extent to which the Branch Office were a well-defined team had a positive effect on team functioning; participation, innovation and commitment to task excellence. Team functioning was associated with higher levels of satisfaction with manager and team support and all types of support. Working in a well-defined team was associated with job satisfaction, mediated by positive team functioning and social support. Teamness agreement predicted team well-being, clarity of objectives, work demands and satisfaction with reality check. Working in a team was not associated with performance. This thesis advances understanding in the area of team working and processes within teams, advancing understanding of the specifics of social support from different so urces and types of support. The studies reveal the key role of team functional characteri stics in creating the vehicle through which supportive interactions take place. which contribute to positive outcomes associated with working in a well-defined team.
Date of Award2003
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorCarol S. Borrill (Supervisor)


  • Teamwork
  • well-being
  • social support
  • stress

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