This study explores the relationships among transformational leadership style, cognitive trust, and collective efficacy as well as the impact of these variables on distal team performance. Data collected from 39 teams find that team cognitive trust as two process variables involves a transformational leadership process in which cognitive trust in the team leader and cognitive trust among team members mediate the impact of this leadership style on collective efficacy. Unlike previous studies, our results show that leveraging cognitive trust in the team leader is necessary but not sufficient for better proximal collective efficacy, which in turn facilitates distal team performance. Although cognitive trust among team members was more closely related to proximal collective efficacy than cognitive trust in the team leader was, the factors that foster the development of cognitive trust among team members remain scantly explored in the transformational leadership literature and deserve more attention in future research.
- Cognitive trust
- Collective efficacy
- Team performance
- Transformational leadership style