טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentKimmel Michal
SubjectAttachment Patterns and Social Support Processes in
Work-Teams
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Mr. Peter Bamberger


Abstract

With the increased use of work teams in organizations, supportive relations among team members have become acknowledged as critical to the understanding of organizational functioning and firm performance.  Social support processes are fundamental for work teams due to the joint work and interdependence among team members. Given the interpersonal nature of these processes, it is important to gain a better understanding of the determinants of team members' support perceptions and behaviors, and the development of these processes. To this end, we utilize the theoretical framework of attachment theory (Bowlby, 1973), which focuses on the relations between children and their attachment figures and their life long consequences for social and emotional functioning. Adult attachment research was mainly applied for explaining social and emotional behaviors in the context of close relationships. This study expands the use of the theoretical framework of attachment theory into the realm of organizational psychology and the work context. The hypotheses were tested using a sample of 33 autonomous work-teams of counselors working in a Jewish educational organization. The results have implications at the individual and team level. Results indicate a link between team members’ attachment styles and their social support behaviors in their team.  Members with a secure attachment style have higher social support perceptions, are more willing to seek support and are more satisfied with the support they receive, compared to members with insecure styles. Results also suggest that team composition in terms of members' attachment styles has implications for team performance. Teams with no secure members received significantly lower scores.