Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 804–815 | Cite as

The relevance of being “on the same page” to succeed as a project team: A moderated mediation model

  • Caroline AubéEmail author
  • Vincent Rousseau
  • Eric Brunelle
  • Dominic Marques
Original Paper


Taking a motivational approach, this study deepens the role of team members’ shared understanding of the work to be done in a project team setting. More specifically, the goal of this study is to test a second stage moderated mediation model in which the mediating role of team members’ proactive behavior in the relationship between perceived shared understanding and team performance is moderated by team adaptability. Based on a multisource and multimethod approach, data were collected from 111 teams of undergraduate and graduate students (521 participants) participating in a project management simulation. Results support the hypothesized moderated mediation model. Indeed, the results indicate that the relationship between perceived shared understanding and team performance is mediated by proactive behavior. The results also show that the relationship between proactive behavior and team performance is moderated by team adaptability. Overall, results reveal that the indirect effect of perceived shared understanding on team performance is moderated by team adaptability, such that this indirect effect is stronger when the level of team adaptability is high. In terms of practical implications, the study highlights the importance of fostering the perception of being “on the same page” in order to motivate members to be proactive and to enhance project team performance.


Perceived shared understanding Team proactive behavior Team adaptability Project teams 



The research was supported by grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the HEC Montreal Foundation.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementHEC MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.School of Industrial RelationsUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada

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