What We Do

Reflecting the complexity of teams, our lab focuses on a breadth of topics, spanning leadership, followership, team personality composition, and the processes surrounding the integration of new members. As a few examples, we have published peer-reviewed articles addressing questions such as why some individuals emerge as leaders but wane in effectiveness over time, what are the different ways through which individuals acquire influence in groups and their associated consequences, and what traits differentiate an ideal follower from an ideal leader.

Our research is currently funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Canada Foundation for Innovation. We have also received funding from Mitacs to work with organizational partners to develop innovative solutions to optimize employee and team member experiences.

Our lab is accepting graduate student applications for 2024-2025. Please see the following link for the Department of Psychology at Western University for more information.

If you are an organization that is seeking tailored insights to your workplace, please see the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Current Research

To see a selection of our recent publications select a research theme below.

Followership and Leadership

Xu, T., Evans, M. B., & Benson, A. J. (2023). The nature of status: Navigating the varied approaches to conceptualizing and measuring status. Organizational Psychology Review, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/20413866231220505

Lynch, J., & Benson, A. J. (2023). Putting oneself ahead of the group: The liability of narcissistic leadership. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672231163645

Cheng, J. T., Gerpott, F. H., Benson, A. J., Bucker, B., Foulsham, T., Lansu, T. A. M., Schülke, O., & Tsuchiya, K. (2023). Eye gaze and visual attention as a window into leadership and followership: A review of empirical insights and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2022.101654

Baird, N., & Benson, A. J. (2022). Getting ahead while getting along: Followership as a key ingredient for shared leadership and reducing team conflict. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.923150

Herbison, J. D., Sutcliffe, J., Martin, L. J., McLaren, C. D., Slatcher, R. B., Benson A. J., Boardley, I. D., Côté, J., & Bruner, M. W. (2022). Capturing coaches’ identity leadership within youth sport. Psychology of Sport & Exercise. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2022.102208

Gottlieb, M., Eys, M., Hardy, J., & Benson, A. J. (2021). Valued insight or act of insubordination? How context shapes coaches’ perceptions of challenge-oriented followership. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 43 (6), 488-496. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2021-0122

McLaren, C. D., Boardley, I. D., Benson, A. J., Martin, L. J., Fransen, K., Herbison, J. D., Slatcher, R. B., Carré, J. M., Côté, J., & Bruner, M. W. (2021).  Follow the leader: Identity leadership and moral behaviour in social situations among youth sport teammates. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 55, 101940. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2021.101940

Baird, N. Martin, L. J., & Benson, A. J. (2020). A dynamic view of coach transformational leadership: How leadership perceptions across time relate to task cohesion and team potency. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 51, 101789. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2020.101789

Benson, A. J., Hardy, J., & Eys, M. A. (2016). Contextualizing leaders’ interpretations of proactive followership. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37, 949-966. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2077

Narcissism and Team Dynamics

Lynch, J., McGregor, A., & Benson, A. J. (2022). My way or the highway: Narcissism and dysfunctional team conflict processes. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 25, 1157-1171. https://doi.org/10.1177/13684302211001944

Benson, A. J., & Giacomin, M. (2020). How narcissism and self-esteem differentially relate to high and (un)stable feelings of status and inclusion. Journal of Personality, 88 (6), 1177-1195. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12565

Benson, A. J., Jeschke, J., Jordan, C. H., Bruner, M. W., & Arnocky, S. (2019). Will they stay or will they go? Narcissistic admiration and rivalry predict ingroup affiliation and devaluation. Journal of Personality, 87, 871-888. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12441

Benson, A. J., & Jordan, C. (2018).  Narcissistic followership. In A. Hermann, A. Brunell, & J. Foster (Eds.), Trait narcissism: Key advances, research methods, and controversies. Springer Publishing Company. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-92171-6_44

Benson, A. J., Jordan, C. H., & Christie, A. M. (2016). Narcissistic responses to subordinate role assignment: The case of the narcissistic follower. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 985-999. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167216649608

Integrating Team Members and Cultivating Positive Team Dynamics

McEwan, D., Shah., E. J., Crawford, K. L., Jackman, P. C., Hoffman, H. D., Cardinal, E., Bruner, M. W., McLaren, C. D, & Benson, A. J. (2023). The psychometric properties of two shorter versions of the multidimensional assessment of teamwork in sport. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 45(6), 325-336.https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2023-0147

Benson, A. J., McGregor, A., Martin, L. J., Allen, N. J., & Bruner, M. B. (2023). The rank dynamics of integrating new members: The process of hierarchical crafting. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 12(1), 72-88.  https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000315

Godfrey, M. & Benson, A. J. (2022). Seeds of doubt: How the source of mentorship initiation influences mentoring expectations. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-02573-y

Gazmin, S., McGuire, C. S., Benson, A. J., & Martin, L. J. (2022). What about the family? Onboarding athletes’ entourage into professional sport organizations. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2022.2032478

Chamberlain, J. J., Hall, C. R., & Benson, A. J. (2021). How team socialization processes relate to youth ice hockey players’ social identity strength and cohesion. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 10(4), 475–488. https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000262

Leo., F. M., González-Ponce, I., López-Gajardo, T., Benson, A. J., & Eys, M. (2020). How socialization tactics relate to role clarity, cohesion, and intentions to return in team sports. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 50, 101735 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2020.101735

Caron, J. G., Benson, A. J., Steins, R., McKenzie, L., & Bruner, M. W. (2021). The social dynamics involved in recovery and return to sport following a sport-related concussion: A study of three athlete-teammate-coach triads. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 52, 101824. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2020.101824

Cascagnette, J., Benson, A. J., Cruwys, T., Haslam, A., & Bruner, M. (2021). More than just another bib: Group dynamics in an elite Nordic ski team. Journal of Sports Sciences, 39, 638-652. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2020.1840040

​Benson, A. J., Azizi, E., Evans, M. B., Eys, M., & Bray, S. R. (2019). How innuendo shapes impressions of task and intimacy groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103854. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2019.103854

Benson, A. J., & Eys, M. A. (2017). Understanding the consequences of newcomer integration processes: The Sport Team Socialization Tactics Questionnaire. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 39, 13-28. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2016-0182

Benson, A. J., Eys, M., & Irving, G. (2016). Great expectations: How role expectations and role experiences relate to perceptions of team cohesion. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38, 160-172. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2015-0228

Benson, A. J., Evans, M. B., & Eys, M. A. (2016). Organizational socialization in team sport environments. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 4, 463-473. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12460

A Social Identity Approach to Understanding Teams

Sutcliffe, J., Benson, A. J., McLaren, C. D., & Bruner, M. W. (2022). Part of the Team: The Social Identity Questionnaire for Sport Parents (SIQS-P). Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/1091367X.2022.2092740

Herbison, J. D., Martin, L. J., Slatcher, R., Boardley, I., Benson, A. J., Sutcliffe, J., McLaren, C., Carré, J., Côté, J, Coletti, J.T., & Bruner, M. W. The Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR): A novel approach for examining social environments in youth sport. (2020). International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2020.1790025 

Graupensperger, S., Benson, A. J., Kilmer, J. R., & M. B., Evans. (2020). Social (un)distancing: Teammate interactions, athletic identity, and mental health of student-athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Adolescent Health, 67 (5), 662-670. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.08.001  

Sutcliffe, J., McLaren, C., Benson, A. J., Arnocky, S., Martin, L. J., Shields, C., Law, B., Dorsch, T. E., & Bruner, M. W. (2020). Parents’ moral intentions towards antisocial parent behaviour: An identity approach in youth sport. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 49, 101699. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2020.101699

Graupensperger, S. A., Benson, A. J., Bray, B. C., & Evans, M. B. (2019). Social cohesion and peer acceptance predict student-athletes’ attitudes toward health-risk behaviors: A within- and between-group investigation. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 (12), 1280-1286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2019.07.003

​Graupensperger, S., Benson, A. J., Evans, M. B. (2018). Everyone else is doing it: The association between social identity and susceptibility to peer-influence in NCAA athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 40, 117-127. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2019.1566548

Benson, A. J., & Bruner, M. W. (2018). How teammate behaviors relate to athlete affect, cognition, and behaviors: A daily diary approach within youth sport. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 34, 119-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.10.008

The new edition of Group Dynamics in Sport is now available!


Eys, M. A., Evans, M. B., & Benson, A. J. (2020). Group dynamics in sport (5th Ed.). West Virginia University Publishing.