by Dean Barker, Anthony Rossi & Uwe Pühse

Vol. 1 2010, pages 115–132
Published November 3, 2010


This paper examines how teams and teamwork research have been conceptualised in the fields of sport psychology and organizational psychology. Specifically, it provides a close inspection of the general theoretical assumptions that inhere in the two disciplines. The results of a discursive analysis of research literature suggest that the fields have significantly different ways of conceptualising teams and teamwork and that conceptual borrowing may prove fruitful. A key argument is however, that in order for meaningful cross-fertilisation to take place a sound understanding of these differences is necessary. Working from this premise, the essential differences between sport and organizational approaches to teams are outlined. The paper is concluded with a discussion of contributions that organizational psychology can make to understandings of sport-oriented teams.

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About the Authors

DEAN BARKER is a postdoc researcher at the Institute of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Basel.

ANTHONY ROSSI is Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Health and Physical Education at the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland.

UWE PÜHSE is Professor and Director of Social Sciences and Sport Pedagogy at the Institute of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Basel.


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