ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (1): 167-177.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00167

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A multi-level integrated model of helping behavior in teams

JIN Yanghua, SHI Rongrong, XIE Jiangpei()   

  1. School of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou 310018, China
  • Received:2020-04-01 Online:2021-01-15 Published:2020-11-23
  • Contact: XIE Jiangpei


Teams are an important link between individuals and organizations. To adapt dynamic and changeable environment, organizations increasingly adopt the team as a unit to complete task and deal with problems. Team helping behavior, when team members volunteer to help other members with task-related issues, is a crucial approach for assistance. Researches showed that helping behavior in teams can promote the smooth development of team work tasks, and is considered to be an effective behavior that can improve team work efficiency, team cohesion, and team innovation. Different types of help behavior in teams have different effects when explaining the team phenomenon in the organization. Previous studies focused on the positive role among individuals within teams, but have neglected the dyadic relationship between helper and help recipient, and the mechanism of team itself and possible dark sides. Research points out that helping behavior in teams consists of team member-level helping, interpersonal helping, and team helping. Team-level and individual-level helping behavior may have different help objects that individual helping behavior can refer to help anyone in the organization, while team helping behaviors are limited to help team member; moreover, individual helping behaviors and team helping behaviors are different for the subject perception, that is, "I help others" and "team members help others", the perception of different levels of helping behavior will affect the emotional and cognitive state of team members; in the meanwhile, individual helping behavior and team helping behavior may be stimulated by different factors and have significant different effects on differential levels, that is, team helping behavior may be more affected by team characteristics or collective cognition. We propose a multi-level integrated theoretical model framework for helping behavior in teams. Organizational context and team environment are important factors that lead to team helping behaviors. The research object of help behavior in the team may be either the help provider or the help recipient, but also involving the helper-recipient dyadic relationship. In the interaction, the emotional attitude of one party affects the attitude and behavior of the other party. Team helping behavior and individual helping behavior may have interaction. For example, when team members perceive that there is a significant difference between team-level helping behavior and individual-level helping behavior, psychological changes may be triggered. Team helping behavior is a bottom-up process of individual helping behavior, and team helping behavior will affect the individual helping behavior, eventually bringing about a self-reinforcing cycle. Furthermore, the emergence of team helping behavior, the internal psychological mechanism of its negative effects at team level, and the subsequence helping mechanism of helping behavior in teams can be delivered to future research.

Key words: helping behavior in teams, team helping behavior, social exchange

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