Collective Efficacy

The third mode of human agency is collective efficacy. Bandura (2000) defined collective efficacy as "people's shared beliefs hi their collective power to produce de-shed results" (p. 75). In other words, collective efficacy is the confidence people have that their combined efforts will bring about group accomplishments. Bandura (2000) suggested two techniques for measuring collective efficacy. The first is to combine the hidividual member's evaluation of then personal capabilities to enact behaviors that benefit the group. For example, actors in a play would have high collective efficacy if all had confidence hi then personal ability to adequately perform then roles. The second approach proposed by Bandura is to measure the confidence each person has in the group's ability to brhig about a desired outcome. For example, baseball players may have little confidence in each of then teammates but possess high confidence that then team will perform quite well. These two slightly different approaches to collective efficacy call for separate measuring techniques.

Collective efficacy does not spring from a collective "mind" but rather from the personal efficacy of many individuals working together. A group's collective efficacy, however, depends not only on the knowledge and skills of its individual members but also on then beliefs that they can work together hi a coordinated and interactive fashion (Bandura, 2000). People may have high self-efficacy but low collective efficacy. For example, a woman may have high personal efficacy that she can pursue a healthy lifestyle, but she may have low collective efficacy that she can reduce environmental pollution, hazardous working conditions, or the threat of infectious disease.

Bandura (1998b) pointed out that different cultures have different levels of collective efficacy and work more productively under different systems. For example, people in the United States, an individualistic culture, feel greater self-efficacy and work best under an individually oriented system, whereas people in China, a collec-tivist culture, feel greater collective efficacy and work best under a group-oriented system.

Bandura (1997, 1998b, 2001) lists several factors that can undermine collective efficacy. First, humans live in a transnational world; what happens in one part of the globe can affect people in other countries, givhig them a sense of helplessness. Destruction of the Amazon rain forests, international trade policies, or depletion of the ozone layers, for example, can affect the lives of people everywhere and undermine then confidence to shape a better world for themselves.

Second recent technology that people neither understand nor believe that they can control may lower their sense of collective efficacy. In past years, many motorists, for example, had confidence hi their ability to keep their car hi running condition. With the advent of computerized controls in modem automobiles, many moderately skilled mechanics not only have lost personal efficacy for repairing then vehicle but have low collective efficacy for reversing the trend toward more and more complicated automobiles.

A third condition undermining collective efficacy is the complex social machinery, with layers of bureaucracy that prevent social change. People who attempt to change bureaucratic structures are often discouraged by failure or by the long lapse of thne between their actions and any noticeable change. Having become discouraged many people, "rather than developing the means for shaping their own future, ... grudghigly relinquish control to technical specialists and to public officials" (Bandura, 1995, p. 37).

Fourth, the tremendous scope and magnitude of human problems can undermine collective efficacy. Wars, famine, overpopulation, crime, and natural disasters are but a few of the global problems that can leave people with a sense of power-lessness. Despite these huge transnational problems, Bandura believes that positive changes are possible if people will persevere with then collective efforts and not become discouraged.

Takhig a worldwide view, Bandura (2000) concluded that "as globalization reaches ever deeper into people's lives, a resilient sense of shared efficacy becomes critical to furthering their common interests" (p. 78).

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Baseball For Boys

Baseball For Boys

Since World War II, there has been a tremendous change in the makeup and direction of kid baseball, as it is called. Adults, showing an unprecedented interest in the activity, have initiated and developed programs in thousands of towns across the United States programs that providebr wholesome recreation for millions of youngsters and are often a source of pride and joy to the community in which they exist.

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