Using Communal Inquiry as a Way of Increasing Group Cohesion in Soccer Teams

  • Alex Newby
  • Susan T. Gardner
  • Arthur Wolf


Introduction: Much has been written about the importance of creating cohesive units in such settings as the military (Dvir et al.), the work environment (Purvanova et al.), as well as in sports (Callow et al.), on the assumption that an increase in the sense of cohesiveness enhances the unit’s performance. What was particularly intriguing to the authors (one of whom is also a soccer coach) is that Callow et al. argue that “intellectual stimulation” can enhance group cohesiveness in sports teams. By intellectual stimulation they mean the sort of thinking that emerges when individuals, in “constructive conflict,” are able to view situations from different perspectives, and so are prompted to reexamine their assumptions and to rethink how to go forward (396). This sort of intellectual stimulation, therefore, is not the solitary kind that one might experience in, for instance, doing math problems; it is, rather, the sort that emerges when in communication with others.