Effective team decision-making : exploring the role of psychological safety.

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Science
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Dealy Cottrell, Story Rose

Teamwork is prevalent in organisational decision-making. Given that psychological safety facilitates decision-making practices by creating a safe climate for team members to share their authentic perspectives, the impact of psychological safety on team decision-making processes deserves further attention. Acknowledgement that there is limited research in the team decision-making space, reiterates the value of exploring these variables further. The present study explores the impact of psychological safety, inclusion and independent thinking on team decision-making by investigating teams that make complex decisions. This study is quantitative in nature and used a cross-sectional survey design. Psychological safety is hypothesised as the foundation for developing effective team decision-making. A survey was distributed to team leaders who shared their link with their team members in order to complete the survey. The relationships between the variables were investigated using a hierarchical regression. Using a sample of 35 teams that engage in decision-making, the results indicated that members’ perceptions of psychological safety and independent thinking were significant predictors of perceived effective team decision-making. Contrary to expectations, feelings of inclusion within a team was not a significant contributor to team decision-making. I also assessed psychological safety climate strength as a moderator of the relationships through a hierarchical regression; however, found that it did not moderate the relationships in this study. The main findings suggest that having more psychological safety and opportunity to share independent thoughts within a team could enhance effective team decision-making. This study has implications for individuals, teams and organisations looking to support teams within the workplace that engage in complex decision-making.

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