Management Team Design Characteristics
Greg L. Stewart, Kameron M. Carter, Thomas H. Ptashnik
  • LAST MODIFIED: 31 July 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0168


Teams are a basic building block of organizations. Over the past twenty-five years, a great deal of research has focused on what can be done to improve team effectiveness. Team design characteristics represent inputs that can be manipulated by organizational leaders and can be grouped into three broad classifications: Team Composition, Team Task Design Characteristics, and Team Leadership. The first team design characteristic—composition—focuses on the attributes of individuals who are team members and is generally captured either as the average standing on a particular trait such as mental ability or as a pattern of a characteristic such as the variability in team member conscientiousness. Teams composed of members with desirable traits generally outperform teams composed of members who do not possess desirable individual characteristics. Members with negative individual characteristics harm cooperation and are often rejected by teammates. The impact of some team members—frequently labeled the strategic core—is, however, greater than the impact of others. Team Member Diversity of individual characteristics also corresponds with team processes and outcomes, although the effect is positive in some instances and negative in others. A particularly difficult methodological issue associated with team composition research concerns missing data that occurs when some team members fail to complete survey measures. The second team design feature—team task characteristics—arises from the work itself and how the team accomplishes its prescribed tasks. Some teams have a high level of collective autonomy whereas others work under strict hierarchical control. Teams vary in interdependence with some operating such that members work together very closely and others allowing members to work primarily as individuals. Differences in reward structure also vary from teams that are rewarded collectively to teams with individual-based rewards that result in some members being rewarded more than others. Moreover, an increasingly important task feature of teams is the degree of virtuality, with some teams interacting primarily face-to-face and others interacting mostly through electronic means. The third team design feature is leadership. Teams are facilitated by Empowering Leadership that encourages the team to collectively lead itself, by Shared Leadership that exists when leadership functions are dispersed throughout the team, and by Transformational Leadership that provides teams with a vision that transcends individual interests.

Situating Design Characteristics within the Broader Teams Literature

Research focusing on teams in organizations is generally grounded in a basic systems perspective that adopts an input-process-output model. For example, Gladstein 1984 proposed a model whereby group composition, structure, and resources operate as inputs that influence group processes such as communication and boundary management, which in turn correspond with outputs such as satisfaction and performance. Ilgen, et al. 2005 expanded the model to focus on inputs-mediators-outputs, with the mediator portion containing not only processes but also emergent states such as cohesion and trust. Although moving somewhat away from an explicit input-process-output model, Mathieu, et al. 2017 described structural features, compositional features, and mediating mechanisms as three construct domains associated with teams research. Cohen and Bailey 1997 adopted a framework similar to the input-process-output perspective with team effectiveness being influenced by internal and external processes related to conflict and communication; group psychosocial traits such as norms and shared mental models (similar to emergent states); and design factors that include group composition, task features, and organizational context. Stewart 2006 adopted the category of design factors as the basis for a meta-analysis that quantitatively summarized relationships with team performance for three categories: group composition, task design, and leadership. Carter, et al. 2019 found a strong upward trend in the number of studies incorporating team design features since 2004, with a total of forty-eight empirical studies being identified in 2016. Research related to team design characteristics, which focuses on the input portion of the classic input-process-output model, is thus rapidly expanding.

  • Carter, Kameron M., Brandon A. Mead, Greg L. Stewart, Jordan D. Nielsen, and Samantha L. Solimeo. “Reviewing Work Team Design Characteristics across Industries: Combining Meta-Analysis and Comprehensive Synthesis.” Small Group Research 50.1 (2019): 138–188.

    DOI: 10.1177/1046496418797431Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A comprehensive meta-analysis focused on team design characteristic and industry context. The number of published studies related to team task design features has increasingly accelerated since 2004. Relationships with team performance are reviewed both quantitatively and qualitatively for Team Composition, task design, and Team Leadership across studies conducted in three broad industrial groupings (high technology, manufacturing, service) and with students. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Cohen, Susan G., and Diane E. Bailey. “What Makes Teams Work: Group Effectiveness Research from the Shop Floor to the Executive Suite.” Journal of Management 23.3 (1997): 239–290.

    DOI: 10.1177/014920639702300303Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A comprehensive narrative review of team research. A heuristic model of group effectiveness is developed, and research is reviewed for three types of teams: work and parallel teams, project teams, and management teams. For each type of team, research findings are discussed for relationships between team effectiveness and seven categories: task design, group composition design, organizational context design, environmental factors, internal group processes, external group processes, and group psychosocial traits. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Gladstein, Deborah L. “Groups in Context: A Model of Task Group Effectiveness.” Administrative Science Quarterly 29.4 (1984): 499–517.

    DOI: 10.2307/2392936Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Presents a comprehensive model of group effectiveness based on the input-process-output perspective. Support was found for relationships between team input characteristics and processes, as well as self-reported measures of performance outcomes. Inputs and processes were not, however, related to the objective output measure of sales performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Ilgen, Daniel R., John R. Hollenbeck, Michael Johnson, and Dustin Jundt. “Teams in Organizations: From Input-Process-Output Models to IMOI Models.” Annual Review of Psychology 56.1 (2005): 517–543.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070250Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Review article that expands the input-process-output model by replacing the process portion with mediators to capture not only processes but also emergent states. The updated model adds an explicit feedback loop such that outputs influence inputs in an episodic manner across time. The model is further expressed in three stages: forming—links between inputs and mediators; functioning—links between mediators and outputs; and finishing—links between outputs and subsequent inputs. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Mathieu, John E., John R. Hollenbeck, Daan van Knippenberg, and Daniel R. Ilgen. “A Century of Work Teams in the Journal of Applied Psychology.” Journal of Applied Psychology 102.3 (2017): 452–467.

    DOI: 10.1037/apl0000128Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Chronologically outlines the theoretical advancements in work teams theory published in the Journal of Applied Psychology over the last one hundred years. Group research evolved independently across three schools of thought: individualist-orientation, groupy-orientation, and task contingency. The authors identified three themes as having integrated the work group literature: team tasks and structure, member characteristics and team composition, and team processes and emergent states. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Stewart, Greg L. “A Meta-Analytic Review of Relationships between Team Design Features and Team Performance.” Journal of Management 32.1 (2006): 29–54.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206305277792Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A meta-analysis focused explicitly on team design factors. Relationships with team performance are assessed for group composition, task design, and leadership. For composition, overall desirable member characteristics were found to be more predictive of performance than were measures of Team Member Diversity. For task design, autonomy and interdependence had stronger relationships than task meaningfulness. Both transformational and empowering forms of leadership corresponded with improved performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Composition

Team composition relates to the individuals who make up the team. Individual differences inherent in each team member combine to create a team’s composition. Kozlowski and Klein 2000 proposed different patterns by which individual characteristics combine in teams, including composition (linear combinations of desirable characteristics) and compilation (patterns representing the mix of individual characteristics). Barrick, et al. 1998 found relationships with team process and performance when they operationalized the composition approach as the mean of individual ability and personality scores. They also found relationships with different forms of compilation such as the minimum individual score, the maximum individual score, and the variance of individual scores. Humphrey, et al. 2007 formed teams based on personality configurations and found performance to be facilitated by similarity on conscientiousness and variability on extraversion. A meta-analysis, Peeters, et al. 2006, identified both team average and variability of individual personality traits as correlates of team performance. Bell 2007 concluded that no single method is universally best for operationalizing team composition, with the optimal method of measurement being dependent on the particular trait. Moynihan and Peterson 2001 similarly suggested the need to assess relationships among individual traits from combinations of the universal (certain traits always predict), the contingent (trait effects depend on environment), and the configuration (mix of individual characteristics) approaches. These different forms of capturing how individual traits emerge at the team level, as well as how they influence affective and cognitive states and behavioral processes of teams, were reviewed in the Bell, et al. 2018 synthesis of team composition. A conceptual model of how individuals combine within teams has also been proposed in Mathieu, et al. 2014, suggesting a four-category framework of team composition whereby the interaction of individual or team models with individual or team focuses results in composition patterns that focus on position-specific individual characteristics, team-generic characteristics, relative characteristics against other team roles, or the distribution of characteristics across members.

  • Barrick, Murray R., Greg L. Stewart, Mitchell J. Neubert, and Michael K. Mount. “Relating Member Ability and Personality to Work-Team Processes and Team Effectiveness.” Journal of Applied Psychology 83.3 (1998): 377–391.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.83.3.377Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An early field study utilizing four operationalizations of member characteristics (i.e., mean, variance, minimum, and maximum) to study the composition of individual differences in teams on team processes and outcomes. Mean and minimum operationalizations yielded the strongest associations with team process and performance. Higher mean scores for general mental ability, conscientiousness, extraversion, and emotional stability were predictive of team success, whereas the minimum score was the strongest operationalization for agreeableness. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Bell, Suzanne T. “Deep-Level Composition Variables as Predictors of Team Performance: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Applied Psychology 92.3 (2007): 595–615.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.3.595Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A meta-analysis examining relationships between team composition and performance from 1980 to 2007. Measures of team composition included group mean, maximum, minimum, and variance of individual member scores. Findings demonstrated differences between laboratory and field settings. Ability variables were the most potent predictors in laboratory settings, with few relationships for personality. Conversely, ability had a diminished effect in the field, but teamwork values and several personality traits exhibited significant relationships. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Bell, Suzanne T., Shanique G. Brown, Anthony Colaneri, and Neal Outland. “Team Composition and the ABCs of Teamwork.” American Psychologist 73.4 (2018): 349–362.

    DOI: 10.1037/amp0000305Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Synthesizes findings about team composition and its relationships with teamwork processes such as affective states, behavioral processes, and cognitive states. Evidence suggests that team composition shapes the emergence of teamwork processes and that team-level affect, behavior, and cognition inform the situational context which moderates the relationship between team composition and teamwork processes. Composition methods, such as compositional versus compilational, moderate relationships that are dynamic over time. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Humphrey, Stephen E., John R. Hollenbeck, Christopher J. Meyer, and Daniel R. Ilgen. “Trait Configurations in Self-Managed Teams: A Conceptual Examination of the Use of Seeding for Maximizing and Minimizing Trait Variance in Teams.” Journal of Applied Psychology 92.3 (2007): 885–892.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.3.885Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Advocates for a reexamination of assigning individuals to be members of self-managed teams. Using fit theories, the authors argue that extraversion variance across a team should be maximized and conscientiousness variance minimized. The authors propose that future studies should systematically place people in teams using rank-order assignment (seeding) to achieve the desired trait variance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Kozlowski, Steve W. J., and Katherine J. Klein. “A Multilevel Approach to Theory and Research in Organizations: Contextual, Temporal, and Emergent Processes.” In Multilevel Theory, Research, and Methods in Organizations: Foundations, Extensions, and New Directions. Edited by Katherine J. Klein and Steve W. J. Kozlowski, 3–90. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

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    Develops and presents multilevel theory and perspectives including top-down processes where group and organizational factors influence individual perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as bottom-up processes where individual processes manifest at the group and organizational levels. Theory and principles behind multilevel perspectives include single versus cross-level models and the concept of emergence that underlies a continuum ranging from compilational to compositional forms whereby individual characteristics combine to form team-level constructs.

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  • Mathieu, John E., Scott I. Tannenbaum, Jamie S. Donsbach, and George M. Alliger. “A Review and Integration of Team Composition Models: Moving toward a Dynamic and Temporal Framework.” Journal of Management 40.1 (2014): 130–160.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206313503014Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes a four-model framework of team composition effectiveness that focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of members such that composition is optimizing (a) each position, (b) team-generic KSAs, (c) the relative KSAs of members against one another, or (d) the distribution of KSAs across members. Highlights the need to account for changes across time, including the effects of team members entering and leaving. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Moynihan, Lisa M., and Randall S. Peterson. “A Contingent Configuration Approach to Understanding the Role of Personality in Organizational Groups.” In Research in Organizational Behavior. Vol. 23. Edited by Barry M. Staw and Robert I. Sutton, 327–328. New York: Elsevier Science, 2001.

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    Summarizes three approaches to explaining how individual personality traits correspond to team processes and outcomes. The universal approach seeks to identify traits that contribute to team-level success regardless of setting. The contingent approach acknowledges interactions between traits and environmental factors such as task type and culture. The configuration approach explores how team members fit together. The authors conclude that research can best advance by integrating the three perspectives.

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  • Peeters, Miranda A. G., Harrie F. J. M. van Tuijl, Christel G. Rutte, and Isabelle M. M. J. Reymen. “Personality and Team Performance: A Meta-Analysis.” European Journal of Personality 20.5 (2006): 377–396.

    DOI: 10.1002/per.588Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A meta-analysis examining how team performance corresponds with the elevation (averaged individual scores) and variability (distance from the average) of personality traits. Higher team performance corresponded with greater elevation of conscientiousness and extraversion, and with less variability on conscientiousness and agreeableness. The effects of average conscientiousness and agreeableness were not observed when analyses were limited to only student teams. Other traits also exhibited divergent effects between student and professional teams. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Characteristics of Individual Team Members

Researchers have explored how individual traits influence team processes and outcomes. Tziner and Eden 1985 conducted an early study of military teams and found high levels of individual team member motivation and ability to correspond with higher collective performance for teams. Colbert, et al. 2013 studied top management teams and found them to be more effective when they were composed of conscientious members. Other research has generally shown that individual contributions are mediated by intrateam processes. For instance, Porter, et al. 2003 found higher backing-up behavior—defined as helping other team members perform their roles—when teams included conscientious, extraverted, and emotionally stable members who perceived a legitimate need for help. Looking at it from a somewhat different angle, Bradley, et al. 2013 found Team Composition to interact with processes whereby teams composed of members high on openness to experience and emotional stability were more successful when task conflict emerged within the team. Theoretical models have also been developed to explore the negative side of composition in terms of what happens when undesirable members are included in teams. Felps, et al. 2006 suggests that negative group members elicit feelings of inequality and reduced trust among teammates, which in turn harms cooperation and creativity through reactions such as emotional outbursts and withdrawal. LePine and Van Dyne 2001 similarly suggests that team members reject teammates whom they perceive as lacking conscientiousness but tend to help those whom they perceive as lacking ability.

  • Bradley, Bret H., Anthony C. Klotz, Bennett E. Postlethwaite, and Kenneth G. Brown. “Ready to Rumble: How Personality Composition and Task Conflict Interact to Improve Performance.” Journal of Applied Psychology 98.2 (2013): 385–392.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0029845Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Identifies members’ collective personality traits (openness to experience and emotional stability) as moderators for the relationship between task conflict and team performance. Under higher levels of openness to experience and emotional stability within the team (mean score), task conflict is positively related to performance. Conversely, when these personality traits are low within the team, there is a negative effect on team performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Colbert, Amy E., Murray R. Barrick, and Bret H. Bradley. “Personality and Leadership Composition in Top Management Teams: Implications for Organizational Effectiveness.” Personnel Psychology 67.2 (2013): 351–387.

    DOI: 10.1111/peps.12036Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Empirically tests upper echelons theory, which suggests that that the experiences, values, and personalities of senior leaders have a measurable effect on organizational effectiveness. Across the top management team (TMT) and the CEO, firm financial performance had a significant positive relationship with conscientiousness and collective employee organizational commitment with Transformational Leadership. However, several CEO attributes had a unique influence, including transformational leadership, on organizational performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Felps, Will, Terence R. Mitchell, and Eliza Byington. “How, When, and Why Bad Apples Spoil the Barrel: Negative Group Members and Dysfunctional Groups.” Research in Organizational Behavior 27 (2006): 175–222.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0191-3085(06)27005-9Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides a theoretical perspective capturing how one negative team member can damage the group by suggesting that negative members’ withholding effort, negative affect, or deviant behaviors impact other member reactions, leading to others’ defensive behaviors. Group processes are hindered resulting in lower team performance, well-being, and viability. Intensity of behaviors, Team Interdependence, valence of outcomes, and personal coping abilities serve as moderators between negative member behaviors and others’ reactions. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • LePine, Jeffrey A., and Linn Van Dyne. “Peer Responses to Low Performers: An Attributional Model of Helping in the Context of Groups.” Academy of Management Review 26.1 (2001): 67–84.

    DOI: 10.5465/amr.2001.4011953Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops theory explaining how teammates respond to low performers. Peers make either internal or external attributions concerning the causes of low performance. Internal attributions lead to empathy when the peer is seen as being unable to control the situation because of low ability, but to anger when the peer is seen as able to control the situation but lacking conscientiousness. Reactions to low performers thus range from helping to rejection. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Porter, Christopher O. L. H., John R. Hollenbeck, Daniel R. Ilgen, Aleksander P. J. Ellis, Bradley J. West, and Henry Moon. “Backing Up Behaviors in Teams: The Role of Personality and Legitimacy of Need.” Journal of Applied Psychology 88.3 (2003): 391–403.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.3.391Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A laboratory study examining Team Composition (personality) and task characteristic inputs (legitimacy of need for a help request) on team processes (backing-up behaviors). Results showed that those who legitimately needed help received more of it. Further, helping behaviors were most likely to occur if there was a legitimate need, and the recipient was high in either conscientiousness or extraversion, or the provider was high in emotional stability. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Tziner, Aharon, and Dov Eden. “Effects of Crew Composition on Crew Performance: Does the Whole Equal the Sum of Its Parts?” Journal of Applied Psychology 70.1 (1985): 85–93.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.70.1.85Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An experimental field study that used small military crews to test interactions between team composition variables. Both ability and motivation demonstrated an additive effect on team performance the magnitude of which varied by position. Additionally, due to task interdependence, symmetry across the ability level of team members—all high or all low—produced higher and lower performance outcomes, respectively, than would be expected from the individual scores of the crew. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Members Representing the Strategic Core

Although evidence supports a link between team member characteristics and collective performance, the influence of all team members is not equal. Some team roles are more important than other roles, with the roles having the greatest impact being labeled as a team’s strategic core. Humphrey, et al. 2009 defines the strategic core as roles that (a) encounter more problems, (b) have greater exposure to tasks, and (c) are more central to workflow. Pearsall and Ellis 2006 found the assertiveness of the most critical team member to correspond with team member satisfaction and collective performance. Li, et al. 2015 also demonstrated how team members who demonstrate the highest frequency of helping and voice—attempts to identify and improve the status quo—have an inordinately large influence on team processes and performance when they are situated centrally in the team’s relational network. Additionally, Summers, et al. 2012 identified the team member representing the strategic core as having the strongest impact on intrateam coordination and thereby task performance. Such notions of some members being more important to the team than others are consistent with the relative contribution model of Team Composition in Mathieu, et al. 2014 (see Team Composition).

  • Humphrey, Stephen E., Frederick P. Morgeson, and Michael J. Mannor. “Developing a Theory of the Strategic Core of Teams: A Role Composition Model of Team Performance.” Journal of Applied Psychology 94.1 (2009): 48–61.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0012997Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The inaugural theoretical and empirical study suggesting that the most critical members of a team form a strategic core. This novel framework for conceptualizing team composition separates individuals into core or noncore roles. Strategic core roles are defined by proximity to problems, exposure to tasks, and centrality to workflow. Compared to noncore team members, the strategic core had a stronger influence on team performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Li, Ning, Helen H. Zhao, Sheryl L. Walter, Xin-an Zhang, and Jia Yu. “Achieving More with Less: Extra Milers’ Behavioral Influences in Teams.” Journal of Applied Psychology 100.4 (2015): 1025–1039.

    DOI: 10.1037/apl0000010Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A field study analyzing the effect of extra milers—the team members that exhibit the highest frequency of extra role behaviors such as helping and voice—on both team monitoring and backup processes and team effectiveness above and beyond other members of the team. Findings suggest the impact of extra milers to be higher when they are positioned centrally in the team’s relationship network. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Pearsall, Matthew J., and Aleksander P. J. Ellis. “The Effects of Critical Team Member Assertiveness on Team Performance and Satisfaction.” Journal of Management 32.4 (2006): 575–594.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206306289099Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Supports the value of matching personality dimensions with roles and outcomes. For the critical team member (assessed by the number of workflow routes), extraversion showed no significant relationship with team performance and satisfaction, although its task-focused facet, dispositional assertiveness, did. Furthermore, the critical team member’s dispositional assertiveness worked in concert with improvements to the team’s transactive memory—domain-specific knowledge held across the team—to strengthen the effects on performance and satisfaction. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Summers, James K., Stephen E. Humphrey, and Gerald R. Ferris. “Team Member Change, Flux in Coordination, and Performance: Effects of Strategic Core Roles, Information Transfer, and Cognitive Ability.” Academy of Management Journal 55.2 (2012): 314–338.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2010.0175Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An empirical study demonstrating that member turnover disrupts team coordination, which in turn negatively affects team performance. The period of flux was prolonged when the replaced member was at the strategic core of the team and when information containing codified knowledge was withheld during the transition. However, this phase of instability was abbreviated if the new member was high or low, but not moderate, in cognitive ability. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Member Diversity

Team member diversity focuses on how team members differ from each other. As DeRue, et al. 2010 points out, various patterns reflect differences among team members including a minority distribution where a small number of group members differ from the majority, a bimodal distribution where team members are evenly split between groupings, and a fragmented distribution where there is a full distribution along a continuum. The range of team member characteristics associated with diversity is broad and includes obviously work-related issues such as measures of expertness in van der Vegt, et al. 2006 and less obvious differences such as measures of perceptions about time in Mohammed and Harrison 2013. Nevertheless, studies are generally grouped into two categories: task-oriented and relations-oriented. Joshi and Roh 2009 conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis and found relatively small relationships with performance outcomes for both task and relations categorizations. The authors did, however, find relationships to be stronger when factors such as industry and occupation were taken into account. Harrison, et al. 2002 also demonstrated how the negative effect of surface-level diversity (e.g., race, sex, age) dissipates as teams interact over time, whereas the negative effect of deep-level diversity (e.g., personality, values, attitudes) intensifies as groups interact and collaborate. Van Dijk, et al. 2012 further found negative relationships for demographic diversity and positive relationships with job-related diversity to be attenuated with objective—rather than subjective—measures of team performance. Fisher, et al. 2012 similarly found stronger relationships with more narrowly focused measures of individual differences and the more proximal emergent state of shared team mental models. In general, findings related to diversity are consistent with the categorization-elaboration model proposed in van Knippenberg, et al. 2004, which suggests that diversity is most beneficial when it results in a greater elaboration of task-relevant information and most harmful when it results in social categorization that creates subgroup biases. Social categorization and subgroup formation represent the core ideas of group faultline research, which, as described in Rico, et al. 2007, occurs when one or more attributes divide teams into specific subgroups, with faultlines being stronger when variety characteristics align to create distinct groups that differ from one another in terms of multiple characteristics. Nevertheless, Jehn and Bezrukova 2010 illustrated that such faultlines may not be harmful to team processes and outcomes when they lie dormant but become problematic when differences are made salient and activate perceptions of distinct subgroups.

  • DeRue, D. Scott, John Hollenbeck, Dan Ilgen, and Deborah Feltz. “Efficacy Dispersion in Teams: Moving beyond Agreement and Aggregation.” Personnel Psychology 63.1 (2010): 1–40.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2009.01161.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a theoretical model and research agenda for within-team variability in team efficacy, which is the shared belief that a task can be executed. The authors propose that even when teams have the same mean and variance, the form of dispersion can differ. Specifically, forms of dispersion in team efficacy can be classified as shared efficacy (consensus), minority belief (outliers), bimodal (two subgroups), and fragmented (total disagreement). Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Fisher, David M., Suzanne T. Bell, Erich C. Dierdoff, and James A. Belohlav. “Facet Personality and Surface-Level Diversity as Team Mental Model Antecedents: Implications for Implicit Coordination.” Journal of Applied Psychology 97.4 (2012): 825–841.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0027851Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines antecedents of team mental models in the early stages of interaction. Racial diversity (negative) and cooperation (positive) emerged as important contributors to similarity, while implicit coordination mediated the team mental model (TMM) similarity-team performance relationship. Trust and racial diversity were found to interact such that personality composition mitigated the observed negative effect of racial diversity on TMM similarity. Additionally, high levels of TMM similarity improved implicit coordination and performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Harrison, David A., Kenneth H. Price, Joanne H. Gavin, and Anna T. Florey. “Time, Teams, and Task Performance: Changing Effects of Surface- and Deep-Level Diversity on Group Functioning.” Academy of Management Journal 45.5 (2002): 1029–1045.

    DOI: 10.2307/3069328Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the independent effects of surface-level (demographic) and deep-level (psychological) diversity on team social integration and task performance when temporal moderators and perception-based mediators are present. The results showed that team reward contingencies promoted collaboration, diversity perceptions influenced social integration before team task performance, and the impact of perceived surface-level and deep-level diversity were diminished and intensified, respectively, when team members spent more time collaborating. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Jehn, Karen A., and Katerina Bezrukova. “The Faultline Activation Process and the Effects of Activated Faultlines on Coalition Formation, Conflict, and Group Outcomes.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 112.1 (2010): 24–42.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.11.008Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a method for measuring dormant faultlines, which are the objective differences in demographic characteristics among a group that have not yet been activated (perceived as subgroups). The authors found that activated faultlines are associated with a greater propensity to form coalitions and have intragroup conflicts, which lead to lower member satisfaction and perceived and objective performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Joshi, Aparna, and Hyuntak Roh. “The Role of Context in Work Team Diversity Research: A Meta-Analytic Review.” Academy of Management Journal 52.3 (2009): 599–627.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMJ.2009.41331491Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines associations with relation- (e.g., function, education, and tenure) and task-oriented (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, and age) diversity from over 8,000 teams in field settings. Overall, diversity had a nonsignificant relationship with performance. However, positive and negative correlations were primarily split along the task- and relation-oriented diversity line, respectively. The moderators—organizational demography, industry type, task interdependence, and team type— yielded mixed but significant effects on the diversity-performance relationship. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Mohammed, Susan, and David A. Harrison. “The Clocks That Time Us Are Not the Same: A Theory of Temporal Diversity, Task Characteristics, and Performance in Teams.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 122.2 (2013): 244–256.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2013.08.004Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Theoretical article discussing team performance optimization across compositions of time-based individual differences and task demands. Proposes that performance is encouraged when in dynamic conditions requiring action-oriented tasks there is diversity in time urgency, time perspectives (future- and present-orientations), polychronicity, and pacing styles (only for early and action styles in dynamic conditions). Further, misattributed negative performance feedback and mismatched temporal configurations have an adverse compounding effect on team performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Rico, Ramón, Eric Molleman, Miriam Sánchez-Manzanares, and Gerben S. van der Vegt. “The Effects of Diversity Faultlines and Team Task Autonomy on Decision Quality and Social Integration.” Journal of Management 33.1 (2007): 111–132.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206306295307Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Two-by-two design manipulating faultline strength and team task autonomy. For team decision quality, highest decision quality was with weak faultlines and high task autonomy whereas strong faultlines and high task autonomy resulted in the lowest decision quality. These same results held for the effects of faultlines and autonomy on team social integration as well. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • van der Vegt, Gerben S., J. Stuart Bunderson, and Aad Oosterhof. “Expertness Diversity and Interpersonal Helping in Teams: Why Those Who Need the Most Help End Up Getting the Least.” Academy of Management Journal 49.5 (2006): 877–893.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMJ.2006.22798169Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A multilevel multiperiod empirical study that tests how differential levels of expertise are associated with team performance. Other members of the team displayed greater interpersonal commitment and helping toward the member with higher expertise when perceived expertise varied across the team. This propensity was more common for individuals who were also perceived to have high expertise, which thwarted intragroup learning and, as a result, limited performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • van Dijk, Hans, Marloes L. van Engen, and Daan van Knippenberg. “Defying Conventional Wisdom: A Meta-Analytical Examination of the Differences between Demographic and Job-Related Diversity Relationships with Performance.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 119.1 (2012): 38–53.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2012.06.003Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Demonstrates that systematic underestimation of team performance occurs for demographically diverse groups. This phenomenon was most prominent when ratings came from leaders outside of the team. Conversely, external sources overestimated the effect of job-related diversity on performance. Job-related diversity proved advantageous to performance only for tasks high in complexity. Furthermore, in-role performance and innovation were found to have negative relationships with age, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and educational level diversity. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • van Knippenberg, Daan, Carsten K. W. De Dreu, and Astrid C. Homan. “Work Group Diversity and Group Performance: An Integrative Model and Research Agenda.” Journal of Applied Psychology 89.6 (2004): 1008–1022.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.89.6.1008Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a theoretical model integrating social categorization and information/decision-making perspectives of diversity, which predict a negative and positive effect on performance, respectively. The authors propose that group diversity leads to enhanced processes for incorporating differences in task-relevant viewpoints, which in turn augments performance. However, this elaboration process is contingent on the group having strong information-processing and decision-making components, being highly motivated, and having ample task ability. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Methodological Issues Related to Nonresponse Bias

Nonresponse bias, which occurs when survey responses are not obtained from all members of a team, is a particularly problematic issue for Team Composition research. Nesterkin and Ganster 2015 used simulation data to demonstrate the potential inaccuracy of team-level measures not based on responses from all individual team members, particularly when team members do not share a common perception. Allen, et al. 2007 focused specifically on diversity measures of group attributes and similarly found both random and systematic nonresponse to attenuate relationships. Although Timmerman 2005 found that attenuation of group-level relationships followed either random exclusion of individuals or exclusion based on low cooperativeness, he also found a curvilinear relationship wherein team-level relationships were higher when scores from less experienced team members were omitted, at least up to a point of omitting between 30 to 40 percent. Seemingly less experienced team members provided less accurate responses. Building on these findings, Hirschfeld, et al. 2013 argues that survey nonresponse is unlikely to be random given that response is more likely for cooperative individuals. These authors conducted an analysis that found significant relationships between the percentage of team members responding to a survey and group characteristics such as mental efficacy and cohesion. Their analysis also demonstrated that removing teams with low response rates potentially biases team-level conclusions.

  • Allen, Natalie J., David J. Stanley, Helen M. Williams, and Sarah J. Ross. “Assessing the Impact of Nonresponse on Work Group Diversity Effects.” Organizational Research Methods 10.2 (2007): 262–286.

    DOI: 10.1177/1094428106/294731Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Used simulation techniques to illustrate the effects of team member nonresponse on aggregated team-level measures of diversity. Missing data almost always resulted in underestimates of true relationships among team-level measures. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Hirschfeld, Robert R., Michael S. Cole, Jeremy B. Bernerth, and Tracey E. Rizzuto. “Voluntary Survey Completion Among Team Members: Implications of Noncompliance and Missing Data for Multilevel Research.” Journal of Applied Psychology 98.3 (2013): 454–468.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0031909Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores the nature of missing data in multilevel research on teams. The authors tested whether members’ evaluations of emergent states could predict the proportion of team members who completed the survey. The average level of team mental efficacy was a strong predictor, while support for the other relationships depended on the missing data technique used. Excluding teams with fewer members responding inflated the standardized effect size and reduced statistical power. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Nesterkin, Dmitriy A., and Daniel C. Ganster. “The Effects of Nonresponse Rates on Group-Level Correlations.” Journal of Management 41.3 (2015): 789–807.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206311433853Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines how group member nonresponse attenuates team-level relationships. Low response rates are demonstrated as most problematic in terms of reducing team-level correlations when there is high within-group variability. Team size, effect size of relationships, and whether nonresponse was random or biased did not affect the extent to which nonresponse by individuals attenuated aggregated measures. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Timmerman, Thomas A. “Missing Persons in the Study of Groups.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 26.1 (2005): 21–36.

    DOI: 10.1002/job.306Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Illustrates what can happen when a portion of a population is removed, similar to what might occur with nonresponse. Correlations based on aggregation to the team-level of analysis were attenuated when individual responses were deleted either randomly or for less cooperative members. However, aggregate-level correlations increased when responses from individuals with lower participation were removed, suggesting that relationships may be accentuated when individuals with less accurate perceptions are not included. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Task Design Characteristics

Team task characteristics arise from the work itself and how the team accomplishes its prescribed tasks. This perspective is most frequently captured at the individual level by the Job Characteristics Model, which is summarized in the review and meta-analysis reported in Fried and Ferris 1987. Humphrey, et al. 2007 updates this individual-level perspective by including social and contextual features of jobs. At the team level, working in groups affords improved ability to adapt to and cope with changes in work and task demands. Although there are multiple mechanisms that influence a team’s ability to tackle tasks, Hollenbeck, et al. 2004 provides three broad categories that best capture differences in coordination and clarity about completing tasks: allocation structure, decision-making structure, and reward structure. These three design variables parallel the following four categories of team task design: Team Autonomy, Team Interdependence, Team Reward Structure, and Team Geographic Dispersion. Regardless of the specific categorization, the overall effects of task design characteristics on team outcomes appear to depend largely on contextual factors, particularly the nature of the team’s work.

  • Fried, Yitzhak, and Gerald R. Ferris. “The Validity of the Job Characteristics Model: A Review and Meta-Analysis.” Personnel Psychology 40.2 (1987): 287–322.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.1987.tb00605.x.Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Reviews how psychological and behavioral outcomes of individual employees relate to the Job Characteristics Model, which focuses on skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and job feedback. Modest support was found for relationships between these motivating aspects of work tasks and outcomes such as job satisfaction, internal work motivation, absenteeism, and job performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Hollenbeck, John R., D. Scott DeRue, and Rick Guzzo. “Bridging the Gap between I/O Research and HR Practice: Improving Team Composition, Team Training, and Team Task Design.” Human Resource Management 43.4 (2004): 353–366.

    DOI: 10.1002/hrm.20029Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A review of the science-practice knowledge gaps in HRM. The areas in which this discrepancy was most salient were team composition (teamwork skills and abilities, configurational approaches to composition, and demographic diversity in teams); team training (the value of team training, shared mental models, and cross-training in teams); and team task design (task allocation structure, decision-making structure, and reward structure). Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Humphrey, Stephen E., Jennifer D. Nahrgang, and Frederick P. Morgeson. “Integrating Motivational, Social, and Contextual Work Design Features: A Meta-Analytic Summary and Theoretical Extension of the Work Design Literature.” Journal of Applied Psychology 92.5 (2007): 1332–1356.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.5.1332Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A meta-analysis that examines work design for individual-level jobs and extends the scope of analysis beyond motivational to social and work context characteristics. Motivational characteristics best explained variance in worker behaviors and perceptions, social characteristics uniquely explained attitudes, and above and beyond these, work context explained well-being. Fourteen characteristics were identified within these three categories. Critical psychological states were found to mediate the relationships, with experienced meaning having the greatest impact. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Autonomy

Autonomy, as defined in Langfred 2000, concerns the extent to which the team is given freedom, independence, and discretion in carrying out its assigned tasks. Higher levels of team autonomy have been connected with increased performance and satisfaction most notably when tasks are uncertain. Rico, et al. 2007 found autonomy in uncertain conditions allowed teams to more quickly and effectively respond to environmental changes. Conversely, low levels of autonomy correspond best with tasks that are highly structured. However, Haas 2010 proposed a double-edge sword of team autonomy. Although autonomy does motivate teams through independent decision making and increased responsibility and accountability, it can also result in decision making without outside influence. Because of this decrease in coordination with the rest of the organization, the isolation of highly autonomous teams can harm a team’s performance as actions might not fit within the broader organization’s goals. Gonzalez-Mulé, et al. 2016 corroborated these ideas by finding that clarity in organizational goals helped to mitigate the effects of too much team autonomy.

  • Gonzalez-Mulé, Erik, Stephen H. Courtright, David DeGeest, Jee-Young Seong, and Doo-Seung Hong. “Channeled Autonomy: The Joint Effects of Autonomy and Feedback on Team Performance through Organizational Goal Clarity.” Journal of Management 42.7 (2016): 2018–2033.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206314535443Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Addresses findings from past research on the varied effects of autonomy on team performance by proposing that the team’s goals and objectives can become disjointed from those of the organization (lack of goal clarity). Findings showed that goal clarity interacted with performance feedback to allow autonomous teams to outperform others. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Haas, Martine R. “The Double-Edged Swords of Autonomy and External Knowledge: Analyzing Team Effectiveness in a Multinational Organization.” Academy of Management Journal 53.5 (2010): 989–1008.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMJ.2010.54533180Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Demonstrates that the combinatory effects of autonomy and external knowledge maximize performance outcomes while minimizing the risks each independently presents. Specifically, external knowledge reduces the isolation caused by autonomy, and autonomy attenuates the influence of risks created by obtaining information from outside the group. However, these benefits were dependent on the characteristics of the knowledge and the task. The sample was entirely comprised of self-managing teams performing knowledge-based work. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Langfred, Claus W. “The Paradox of Self-Management: Individual and Group Autonomy in Work Groups.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 21.5 (2000): 563–585.

    DOI: 10.1002/1099-1379(200008)21:5<563::AID-JOB31>3.0.CO;2-HSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Empirically builds on previous work by conceptualizing group and individual autonomy as separate continuums which can be divided into a fourfold typology of self-management work group designs. Group autonomy had a positive effect on cohesiveness, while autonomy at the individual level had the opposite effect. The relationship between effectiveness and autonomy at both levels was mediated by an interaction between group cohesiveness and group performance orientation. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Rico, Ramón, Eric Molleman, Miriam Sánchez-Manzanares, and Gerben S. van der Vegt. “The Effects of Diversity Faultlines and Team Task Autonomy on Decision Quality and Social Integration.” Journal of Management 33.1 (2007): 111–132.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206306295307Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Laboratory study examining the effects of autonomy on relationships between team diversity composition and team performance. Teams with high autonomy better integrated diverse members as long as the faultline was weak, but autonomy was harmful when a strong faultline separated team members into distinct categories. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Interdependence

Interdependence represents the connectedness between team member tasks. Wageman 1995 proposed task-related interdependence as concerning the structure of work and how members need to exchange information, materials, and reciprocal inputs to complete their tasks whereas outcome interdependence concerns the degree to which task outcomes are measured, rewarded, and communicated at the group level to emphasize collective output. Hülsheger, et al. 2009 propose positive benefits of interdependence due to increases in shared expectations, communication, understandings of norms for appropriate behavior, and decreases in social loafing. Courtright, et al. 2015 used meta-analysis to investigate team task and outcome interdependence and their relationships with team functioning and overall performance and found greater interdependence to correspond with improved team performance. However, evidence from Saavedra, et al. 1993 underscored the effects of complex interdependence on team performance in an investigation of the simultaneous effects of task, goal, and feedback interdependences. Furthermore, Barrick, et al. 2007 found higher levels of interdependence to be beneficial for teams high in cohesion and communication. Nonetheless, the benefits of interdependence do not universally extend to teams whose tasks require few intra-team interactions as time and effort is wasted in coordinating members.

  • Barrick, Murray R., Bret H. Bradley, Amy L. Kristof-Brown, and Amy E. Colbert. “The Moderating Role of Top Management Team Interdependence: Implications for Real Teams and Working Groups.” Academy of Management Journal 50.3 (2007): 544–557.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2007.25525781Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A field study of top management teams (TMTs) confirming that their performance has a substantial impact on the entire organization, not just the team itself. TMTs with high interdependence had higher team and subsequent firm performance when the team was more cohesive and had more communication. TMTs with low interdependence had higher performance when communication and cohesion were lower. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Courtright, Stephen H., Gary R. Thurgood, Greg L. Stewart, and Abigail J. Pierotti. “Structural Interdependence in Teams: An Integrative Framework and Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Applied Psychology 100.6 (2015): 1825–1846.

    DOI: 10.1037/apl0000027Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Defines the theoretical parameters of Team Interdependence through a literature review and meta-analysis. Two subdimensions were found to underlie previous conceptualizations: task (the exchange of resources and workflow integration) and outcome (the emphasis on collective output over individual contributions) interdependence. Both subdimensions demonstrated positive effects on team performance. Additionally, results showed that task-focused team functioning for task interdependence and relational team functioning for outcome interdependence mediated these relationships. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Hülsheger, Ute R., Neil Anderson, and Jesus F. Salgado. “Team Level Predictors of Innovation at Work: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Spanning Three Decades of Research.” Journal of Applied Psychology 94.5 (2009): 1128–1145.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0015978Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A meta-analysis that incorporates three decades of research to assess the degree to which team process and input variables promote team-level innovation and creativity (which is subsumed under innovation). All of the team process variables had medium to strong effect sizes, while all but one input variable—goal interdependence—had nonsignificant relationships with innovation. Additionally, effects were strongest at the team level of analysis and for self-report measures. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Saavedra, Richard, P. Christopher Earley, and Linn Van Dyne. “Complex Interdependence in Task-Performing Groups.” Journal of Applied Psychology 78.1 (1993): 61–72.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.78.1.61Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A laboratory study assessing the effects of complex interdependence—the interactive effects of task, goal, and feedback combinations—on team performance. Using three-person teams, findings suggested quantity, quality, task strategy, and intragroup conflict were affected by complex interdependence, with the most positive effects resulting from group-related goal interdependence and group-feedback interdependence for groups with reciprocal task interdependence. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Wageman, Ruth. “Interdependence and Group Effectiveness.” Administrative Science Quarterly 40.1 (1995): 145–180.

    DOI: 10.2307/2393703Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines both the effects of different levels of task interdependence and different levels of outcome interdependence—individual, hybrid, and group—on group performance and effectiveness. Found that group effectiveness is best when both tasks and outcomes were consistent (i.e., either entirely group-based or entirely individual-based). The negative relationship between group rewards and work motivation is even greater for individuals with a high preference for autonomy. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Reward Structure

The reward structures for teams can be individual-focused, team-focused, or a combination of both (i.e., hybrid rewards). Cooperative or competitive rewards underlie either group- or individual-focused reward structures. For cooperative structures, the team as a whole is rewarded based on output whereas competitive rewards include individual-based incentives that often result in unequal distribution among team members. Beersma, et al. 2003 illustrated how cooperative rewards enhance accuracy especially when team members were high in extraversion and agreeableness. Conversely, competitive rewards seem to enhance speed and creativity especially when the tasks are low on interdependence. Research on hybrid rewards has found mixed results with Pearsall, et al. 2010 finding hybrid rewards benefiting information allocation and decrease, whereas Wageman 1995 found highest group effectiveness when both tasks and outcomes were consistent (i.e., either entirely group-based or entirely individual-based). However, team tasks change over time and so might team rewards. Johnson, et al. 2006 investigated this changing from one reward structure to another and found that a change from cooperative to competitive rewards was less harmful to team performance than a change from competitive to cooperative rewards. Meta-analytic work in Nyberg, et al. 2018 underscores team-based pay for performance, a cooperative reward, as a positive incentive for collective team financial outcomes, operational outcomes, and behavioral outcomes including cooperation, communication, and performance.

  • Beersma, Bianca, John R. Hollenbeck, Stephen E. Humphrey, Henry Moon, Donald E. Conlon, and Daniel R. Ilgen. “Cooperation, Competition, and Team Performance: Toward a Contingency Approach.” Academy of Management Journal 46.5 (2003): 572–590.

    DOI: 10.5465/30040650Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using teams in a simulated interactive task, examined the effects of reward structure (competitive versus cooperative) on team performance. Found competitive reward structures to enhance team speed whereas cooperative reward structures enhance team accuracy. Members’ extraversion and agreeableness moderated these relationships with higher levels of these traits benefitting teams in cooperative reward structures and low levels of these traits benefiting teams in competitive reward structures. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Johnson, Michael D., John R. Hollenbeck, Stephen E. Humphrey, Daniel R. Ilgen, Dustin Jundt, and Christopher J. Meyer. “Cutthroat Cooperation: Asymmetrical Adaptation to Changes in Team Reward Structures.” Academy of Management Journal 49.1 (2006): 103–119.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2006.20785533Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Introduces the complexity of dynamic change in teams and reward systems. The authors develop structural adaptation theory and examine what happens when teams move from competitive to cooperative rewards (cutthroat cooperation) systems and vice versa (friendly competition). Findings revealed that teams moving from competitive to cooperative reward structures performed worse than teams moving from cooperative to competitive reward structures. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Nyberg, Anthony J., Mark A. Maltarich, Dhuha D. Abdulsalam, Spenser M. Essman, and Ormonde Cragun. “Collective Pay for Performance: A Cross-Disciplinary Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Management 44.6 (2018): 2433–2472.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206318770732Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Meta-analysis and review on collective pay-for-performance types: TMT, stock-options, profit sharing, gainsharing, and team. Results show positive relationships between all types of collective pay-for-performance and financial, operational, and behavioral outcomes. Authors also propose directions for future research: develop and integrate collective motivational theories, examine sorting and incentive effects, elaborate on temporal processes, examine effects on competitive advantage, explain operationalizations of collective pay-for-performance, and examine elements across total compensation systems. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Pearsall, Matthew J., Michael S. Christian, and Aleksander P. J. Ellis. “Motivating Interdependent Teams: Individual Rewards, Shared Rewards, or Something in Between?” Journal of Applied Psychology 95.1 (2010): 183–191.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0017593Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Looks at differences in hybrid, team, and individual rewards on motivational processes in teams where hybrid rewards include aspects of both team and individual rewards. Hybrid compensation teams had better information allocation (group reward component) and reduced social loafing (individual reward component). For highly interdependent tasks, hybrid reward systems led to higher performance than merely individual or team rewards. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Wageman, Ruth. “Interdependence and Group Effectiveness.” Administrative Science Quarterly 40.1 (1995): 145–180.

    DOI: 10.2307/2393703Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines both the effects of different levels of task interdependence and different levels of outcome interdependence—individual, hybrid, and group—on group performance and effectiveness. Found that group effectiveness is best when both tasks and outcomes were consistent (i.e., either entirely group-based or entirely individual-based). The negative relationship between group rewards and work motivation is even greater for individuals with a high preference for autonomy. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Geographic Dispersion

When members of a team are not physically located together, their dispersion influences team processes and outcomes. Across geographically dispersed teams, there are multiple factors that contribute to their success as laid out in O’Leary and Cummings 2007: (a) their spatial dispersion or the actual distance between members; (b) their temporal dispersion or the extent to which working hours do or do not overlap; and (c) their configural dispersion or the number of sites over which members are dispersed by either being located with other members of the team or isolated. Each of these three factors differentially impacts how a team functions. Spatial dispersion often necessitates virtual teams as members are not co-located and must use technology to communicate and facilitate task completion. Temporal dispersion inhibits real-time problem solving as members are less likely to be working at the same time and less able to collaborate quickly when unplanned issues arise. In addition, O’Leary and Mortensen 2010 found configural dispersion of teams to harm team identification, transactive memory, and coordination, especially among those subgroups of a team with fewer members. However, the meta-analysis of de Guinea, et al. 2012 found the effects of dispersion and virtuality of teams were mixed depending on if the team was a short-term or long-term team. These results suggest that over time a team might be able to overcome some of the negative issues associated with dispersion. Gilson, et al. 2015 underscore the importance of team dispersion for the future as the number of employees associated with dispersed teams continues to increase as technology and team and work structures evolve.

  • de Guinea, Ana O., Jane Webster, and Sandy D. Staples. “A Meta-Analysis of the Consequences of Virtualness on Team Functioning.” Information & Management 49.6 (2012): 301–308.

    DOI: 10.1016/ Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A meta-analysis on virtuality attempting to clarify previous discrepant findings with team functioning. Virtuality had a negative influence on team processes and outputs including conflict, communication frequency, knowledge sharing, team performance, and team satisfaction. This influence was attenuated by team duration, strengthened at the group level and when virtuality was operationalized as a continuous variable, and inconsistent across study methods, making the aggregated negative results not generalizable. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Gilson, Lucy L., M. Travis Maynard, Nicole C. Jones Young, Matti Vartiainen, and Marko Hakonen. “Virtual Teams Research: 10 Years, 10 Themes, and 10 Opportunities.” Journal of Management 41.5 (2015): 1313–1337.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206314559946Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A follow-up on a virtual teams literature review ten years prior; the authors split the intervening advancements into ten themes using an input-process-output framework: research design, team inputs, team virtuality, technology, globalization, leadership, mediators and moderators, trust, outcomes, and ways to enhance virtual team success. Fruitful avenues for future research are also highlighted. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • O’Leary, Michael B., and Jonathon N. Cummings. “The Spatial, Temporal, and Configurational Characteristics of Geographic Dispersion in Teams.” MIS Quarterly 31.3 (2007): 433–452.

    DOI: 10.2307/25148802Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A research essay advancing a new conceptualization of team dispersion as a continuous construct with three structural subdimensions (spatial, temporal, and configurational). The authors link spatial distance with spontaneous communication; temporal distance with real-time problem solving; and configurational characteristics with team coordination, awareness of fellow team members, and intragroup conflict. Additionally, measures are developed for each dimension and demonstrated with case studies. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • O’Leary, Michael B., and Mark Mortensen. “Go (Con)figure: Subgroups, Imbalance, and Isolates in Geographically Dispersed Teams.” Organization Science 21.1 (2010): 115–131.

    DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1090.0434Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A quasi-experimental study of team virtuality exploring the impact of geographically dispersed team configurations (relative number of members at different sites) on individual-, subgroup-, and team-level dynamics. Social categorization in teams with geographically based subgroups (two or more members per site) triggers weaker identification with the team, less effective transactive memory, more conflict, and more coordination problems. Furthermore, an imbalance in the size of subgroups invokes a competitive, coalitional mentality. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Team Leadership

Leadership can emerge internally within teams; however, leadership also represents a design characteristic because it has elements that can be manipulated as inputs. As illustrated in studies such as Schaubroeck, et al. 2011, leadership influences team performance through processes and emergent states. Rather than focusing on traits and characteristics of specific leaders, Morgeson, et al. 2010 adopted a functional perspective to identify a number of specific functions that constitute leadership in teams. The manner of determining who does these functions can vary from team to team. DeRue and Ashford 2010 provides a theoretical model of identity construction that illustrates the process by which leaders and followers claim and grant leadership. Because of their applicability to teams, three specific types of team leadership are most relevant: Empowering Leadership, Shared Leadership, and Transformational Leadership.

  • DeRue, D. S., and Susan J. Ashford. “Who Will Lead and Who Will Follow? A Social Process of Leadership Identity Construction in Organizations.” Academy of Management Review 35.4 (2010): 627–647.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMR.2010.53503267Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a theoretical model describing how leader and follower identities are constructed. Individuals claim and grant leadership and followership through words and symbolic actions. The reciprocal process of identity construction results in the internalization of leader and follower roles, the formation of influence relationships, and endorsement of leadership identity within organizations. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Morgeson, Frederick P., D. S. DeRue, and Elizabeth P. Karam. “Leadership in Teams: A Functional Approach to Understanding Leadership Structures and Processes.” Journal of Management 36.1 (2010): 5–39.

    DOI: 10.1177/0149206309347376Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Presents a functional approach to leadership that emphasizes leader actions that are critical for different phases of team performance. Leadership can be enacted by either formal or informal leaders who are either internal or external to the team. Includes seven specific leadership functions that are critical during transition phases and eight that are critical during action phases. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Schaubroeck, John, Simon S. K. Lam, and Ann Chyunyan Peng. “Cognition-Based and Affect-Based Trust as Mediators of Leader Behavior Influences on Team Performance.” Journal of Applied Psychology 96.4 (2011): 863–871.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0022625Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examined cognition-based and affect-based trust as mediators of leadership on team emergent states and performance. The effect of servant leadership was mediated by affect-based trust and team psychological safety. The effect of Transformational Leadership was mediated by cognition-based trust, affect-based trust, potency, and psychological safety. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Empowering Leadership

Empowering leadership focuses on increasing the internal motivation of team members. The model by Spreitzer 1995, which was developed at the individual level of analysis, suggests that empowerment occurs when people perceive that their work has meaning consistent with personal values, when they experience competence that comes from having necessary skills, when they feel a sense of self-determination that allows them to make choices, and when they feel that they have impact on outcomes. The increased responsibility and autonomy of decisions allocated to members enhances intrinsic motivation while also providing teams the support needed to handle additional responsibility effectively. Srivastava, et al. 2006 found empowering leadership in hotel management teams enhanced knowledge sharing and team efficacy perceptions while meta-analysis in Lee, et al. 2018 positively linked empowering leadership with team performance, specifically through team empowerment. At the group-level of analysis, Kirkman and Rosen 1999 suggests that teams are empowered when they perceive work as being meaningful, when they feel a sense of potency, when there is autonomy, and when the work the team does is felt to be significant and important. Seibert, et al. 2011 conducted meta-analyses and concluded that empowerment demonstrates homology across individual and team levels of analysis, and that leadership is an important antecedent regardless of level. The linkage between leadership, empowerment, and outcomes such as increased customer service and work satisfaction is consistent with the findings of Kirkman and Rosen 1999 (see also Stewart 2006 under Situating Design Characteristics within the Broader Teams Literature). Manz and Sims 1987 identified a number of specific behaviors associated with empowering leadership including actions such as self-observation, self-reinforcement, and self-goal-setting that encourage team members to collectively lead themselves. Pearce and Sims 2002 provides a set of measurement scales that capture these behaviors and illustrate how they differ from leadership that is aversive, directive, transactional, or transformational. However, Klein 1984 found that leaders frequently see empowerment as harmful to them personally and thus resist efforts to empower individuals and teams. Batt 2004 similarly found that leaders experience feelings of job insecurity as empowerment increases, which is consistent with the findings in Aime, et al. 2014 which demonstrated the insecurity and difficulty associated with shifting power within teams. Stewart, et al. 2017 specifically found leaders struggle in developing a new identity as an empowering leader who engages others rather than remaining in charge.

  • Aime, Frederico, Stephen Humphrey, D. Scott DeRue, and Jeffrey B. Paul. “The Riddle of Heterarchy: Power Transitions in Cross-Functional Teams.” Academy of Management Journal 57.2 (2014): 327–352.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2011.0756Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a conceptual model of power heterarchy, which, compared to traditional concepts of hierarchical power, is dynamic and fluid. Shifting of power within the team increased creativity when the shift was seen as legitimate but relatively neutral when the shift was seen as inappropriate. Difficulty shifting from a hierarchical structure to a power heterarchy is thus shown as a possible reason why leaders fail to empower teams in many settings. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Batt, Rosemary. “Who Benefits from Teams? Comparing Workers, Supervisors, and Managers.” Industrial Relations 43.1 (2004): 183–212.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.0019-8676.2004.00323.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study compared employees working in self-managing teams to employees working in traditional organizational structures. Self-managing teams corresponded with increased perceptions of discretion, employment security, and satisfaction for workers. However, compared to traditional structures, working in self-managing teams was generally seen as less positive by supervisors who reported lower levels of job security and job satisfaction. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Kirkman, Bradley L., and Benson Rosen. “Beyond Self-Management: Antecedents and Consequences of Team Empowerment.” Academy of Management Journal 42.1 (1999): 58–74.

    DOI: 10.2307/256874Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Extends empowerment concepts to the team level of analysis by defining empowerment as potency, meaningfulness, autonomy, and impact. Team leader behaviors, production and service responsibilities, team-based human resource practices, and social structure were supported as antecedents of team empowerment. Consequences of team empowerment included higher productivity, better customer service, higher job satisfaction, greater organizational commitment, and more team commitment. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Klein, Janice A. “Why Supervisors Resist Employee Involvement.” Harvard Business Review 62.5 (September 1984).

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    Assessed supervisor perceptions about employee involvement. A majority of supervisors perceived increased employee involvement as beneficial to companies and employees, but a third of supervisors felt that greater employee involvement could be harmful to them personally. Specific concerns included decreased job security, lack of well-defined supervisory responsibilities, and increased workloads. Efforts to increase involvement and empowerment are thus most likely to succeed when they take into account supervisor concerns.

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  • Lee, Allan, Sara Willis, and Amy W. Tian. “Empowering Leadership: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Incremental Contribution, Mediation, and Moderation.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 39.3 (2018): 306–325.

    DOI: 10.1002/job.2220Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Meta-analytic investigation of the effects of empowering leadership across individual and team levels. Findings indicated positive effects of empowering leadership on organizational citizenship behaviors, creativity, and performance across both individual and team levels. At the team level the effect of empowering leadership on performance is mediated by team empowerment. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Manz, Charles C., and Henry P. Sims Jr. “Leading Workers to Lead Themselves: The External Leadership of Self-Managing Work Teams.” Administrative Science Quarterly 32.1 (1987): 106–129.

    DOI: 10.2307/2392745Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Illustrates the important role of external leaders for self-managing work teams. Effective leaders facilitated team self-management through encouraging teams to collectively engage in self-observation, self-evaluation, and self-reinforcement. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Pearce, Craig L., and Henry P. Sims Jr. “Vertical Versus Shared Leadership as Predictors of the Effectiveness of Change Management Teams: An Examination of Aversive, Directive, Transactional, Transformational, and Empowering Leader Behaviors.” Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 6.2 (2002): 172–197.

    DOI: 10.1037/1089-2699.6.2.172Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Measures five types of leader behavior: Aversive, directive, transactional, transformational, and empowering. Also, explores differences between vertical and Shared Leadership. Measurement scales are provided in an appendix, which includes a comprehensive measure of empowering leadership. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Seibert, Scott E., Gang Wang, and Stephen H. Courtright. “Antecedents and Consequences of Psychological and Team Empowerment in Organizations: A Meta-Analytic Review.” Journal of Applied Psychology 96.5 (2011): 981–1003.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0022676Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Uses meta-analysis to demonstrate homology of empowerment wherein functional relationships are similar at the individual and team levels. Both contextual antecedents—including leadership—and individual characteristics corresponded with psychological empowerment at the individual level, which was associated with outcomes including work performance, job satisfaction and commitment, and turnover intentions. Similar results at the team level supported relationships with both antecedents—including leadership—and the consequent of team performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Spreitzer, Gretchen M. “Psychological Empowerment in the Workplace: Dimensions, Measurement, and Validation.” Academy of Management Journal 38.5 (1995): 1442–1465.

    DOI: 10.2307/256865Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Develops a definition and set of measurement scales for the construct of psychological empowerment. Empowerment consists of four cognitions reflecting an orientation toward work. First is meaning, representing a fit between work demands and a person’s values, ideals, and standards. Second is competence, capturing feelings of capability. Third is self-determination, denoting a sense of having a choice. Fourth is impact, relating to perceptions about having influence over decisions and outcomes. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Srivastava, Abhishek, Kathryn Bartol, and Edwin A. Locke. “Empowering Leadership in Management Teams: Effects on Knowledge Sharing, Efficacy, and Performance.” Academy of Management Journal 49.6 (2006): 1239–1251.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2006.23478718Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Used survey data across hotel teams to show the positive effects of empowering leadership on team performance. Theorized and found the social support and encouraging aspects of empowering leadership to enhance team knowledge sharing and team efficacy, which mediated the positive relationship between empowering leadership and team performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Stewart, Greg L., Stacy L. Astrove, Cody J. Reeves, Eean R. Crawford, and Samantha L. Solimeo. “Those with the Most Find It Hardest to Share: Exploring Leader Resistance to the Implementation of Team-Based Empowerment.” Academy of Management Journal 60.6 (2017): 2266–2293.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2015.1173Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Found physicians to be less effective than physician assistants and nurse practitioners in implementing team-based empowerment. Many physicians perceived a status threat associated with the new role of empowering leader rather than a role of distinct professional. Leaders perceiving status threat were less likely to effectively delegate tasks and share power within teams. Facilitating team-based empowerment is thus aided by helping leaders change their perceptions of who they are. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Shared Leadership

Shared leadership occurs when influence is distributed and team members share leadership functions. Although the notion of leadership not being completely contained in hierarchical roles and individuals has been discussed for decades, Pearce and Conger 2003 began formalization of thinking about shared leadership and initiated an emphasis on understanding the implications of sharing influence among team members. Compared to teams that simply waited for a leader to emerge, Erez, et al. 2002 found team performance to improve under a plan whereby leadership duties rotated from member to member. Klein, et al. 2006 found leadership to be shared in extreme action teams but in a way such that at any given time one particular individual was acting as the leader. Carson, et al. 2007 demonstrated how shared leadership emerges from a positive internal team environment and external coaching. The potency of shared leadership for improving team performance, even for virtual teams, was demonstrated in Hoch and Kozlowski 2014. Although research related to shared leadership is still emerging, three meta-analyses have concluded that it does positively correspond to improved team performance. The meta-analysis in Nicolaides, et al. 2014 not only found a positive relationship for shared leadership beyond hierarchical leadership but also illustrated how team confidence mediates the relationship, as well as a stronger relationship when task interdependence among team members was higher. The meta-analysis in Wang, et al. 2014 found stronger relationships when the type of leadership being shared was transformational and charismatic, or captured in terms of overall leadership influence. Shared leadership was also found in Wang, et al. 2014 to have a stronger relationship with performance under conditions of high task complexity, but the opposite was found in the meta-analysis performed in D’Innocenzo, et al. 2016 which identified a stronger relationship when task complexity was low. Both Nicolaides, et al. 2014 and D’Innocenzo, et al. 2016 found support for social network analysis techniques being the optimal method of measuring shared leadership.

  • Carson, Jay B., Paul E. Tesluk, and Jennifer A. Marrone. “Shared Leadership in Teams: An Investigation of Antecedent Conditions and Performance.” Academy of Management Journal 50.5 (2007): 1217–1234.

    DOI: 10.5465/amj.2007.20159921Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Supports a positive internal team environment of shared purpose, social support, and voice as a key antecedent of shared leadership in teams. Also links external coaching to the emergence of shared leadership, particularly when the team environment is not positive. Shared leadership within the team is in turn predictive of high team performance. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • D’Innocenzo, Lauren D., John E. Mathieu, and Michael R. Kukenberger. “A Meta-Analysis of Different Forms of Shared Leadership-Team Performance Relations.” Journal of Management 42.7 (2016): 1964–1991.

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    Meta-analysis linking shared leadership to team performance. The link between shared leadership and performance was stronger under conditions of less task complexity and when studies were conducted in field settings rather than classrooms and laboratories. Capturing shared leadership with social network techniques focused on density and centralization resulted in stronger relationships than did using aggregation techniques that linearly combine individual responses related to leadership in the team as a whole. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Erez, Amir, Jeffrey A. LePine, and Heather Elms. “Effects of Rotated Leadership and Peer Evaluation on the Functioning and Effectiveness of Self-Managed Teams: A Quasi-Experiment.” Personnel Psychology 55.4 (2002): 929–948.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2002.tb00135.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Compared teams with an a priori plan for rotating leaders to teams that relied on leaders emerging. Teams with rotated leadership had improved voice, better cooperation, and higher performance. Relying on internal peer evaluation to assess contribution from individuals was also more effective than relying on external evaluations. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Hoch, Julia E., and Steven W. J. Kozlowski. “Leading Virtual Teams: Hierarchical Leadership, Structural Supports, and Shared Team Leadership.” Journal of Applied Psychology 99.3 (2014): 390–403.

    DOI: 10.1037/a003026410.1037/a0030264Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines leadership in virtual teams. Shared leadership was found to consistently predict team performance regardless of whether team members were co-located or virtual. The relationship with performance attenuated under conditions of virtuality for traditional hierarchical leadership but was accentuated for leadership substitutes such as providing structural supports. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Klein, Katherine J., Jonathan C. Ziegert, Andrew P. Knight, and Yan Xiao. “Dynamic Delegation: Shared, Hierarchical, and Deindividualized Leadership in Extreme Action Teams.” Administrative Science Quarterly 51.4 (2006): 590–620.

    DOI: 10.2189/asqu.51.4.590Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A qualitative study of leadership in trauma resuscitation units. Leadership existed in roles rather than with specific individuals. Although three roles generally shared leadership, only one person acted as a leader at a given time. A hierarchical structure existed with the highest-status leader dynamically delegating leadership responsibility to others based on expertise and contextual needs. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Nicolaides, Vias C., Kate A. LaPort, Tiffani R. Chen, et al. “The Shared Leadership of Teams: A Meta-Analysis of Proximal, Distal, and Moderating Relationships.” The Leadership Quarterly 25.5 (2014): 923–942.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2014.06.006Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Shared leadership is shown meta-analytically to correspond with team performance, exhibiting an incremental relationship extending beyond vertical leadership. Team confidence partially mediates the effect of shared leadership on performance. Stronger relationships between shared leadership and performance exist under conditions of higher task interdependence, subjective performance measurement, and shorter team tenure. Preliminary evidence supports social network analysis as an optimal method of measuring shared leadership. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Pearce, Craig L., and Jay A. Conger. Shared Leadership: Reframing the Hows and Whys of Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2003.

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    A foundational book containing edited chapters that formalized the notion of shared leadership. Shared leadership is situated in the larger context of leadership in organizations, various aspects of shared leadership are introduced, and methods of measuring self-leadership are put forth.

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  • Wang, Danni, David A. Waldman, and Zhen Zhang. “A Meta-Analysis of Shared Leadership and Team Effectiveness.” Journal of Applied Psychology 99.2 (2014): 181–198.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0034531Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A meta-analysis demonstrating that shared leadership correlates with team effectiveness, even after accounting for vertical leadership. Sharing transformational, charismatic, and visionary leadership—as well as overall leadership—was more beneficial than sharing traditional leadership such as initiating structure and transactional leadership. Relationships with shared leadership were stronger for team processes and emergent states than for outcomes. Relationships were also stronger under conditions of complex work. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership focuses on group collectivism through motivating and encouraging team members to surpass their individual interests for the team. Transformational leaders work to create and convey inspirational ideals to drive group success. Meta-analytic evidence gathered in Wang, et al. 2011 positively links transformational leadership to task, contextual, and creative performance. Much focus has been on transformational leadership’s four individual motivational factors (i.e., idealized influence, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation; see Bass, 1999). Dionne, et al. 2004 postulated that leaders idealized influence and inspirational motivation influenced performance through strengthening shared vision and building greater team commitment, that individualized consideration operates through improved team empowerment, and that intellectual stimulation improves performance by developing functional methods of conflict management. Focusing specifically on transformational leadership at the group level, Wang and Howell 2010 proposed a group-level transformational leadership construct with three dimensions: emphasizing group identity, communicating a group vision, and team-building. Wang and Howell 2010 found this group-focused transformational leadership to increase team performance and the amount of team helping behaviors when evaluating the reliability and validity of their scale. Furthermore, Wang and Howell 2012 found group-focused transformational leadership to directly enhance leader and group identification, group performance, and group collective efficacy with the effects on leader identification holding after accounting for individual-focused transformational leadership behaviors.

  • Bass, Bernard M. “Two Decades of Research and Development in Transformational Leadership.” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 8.1 (1999): 9–32.

    DOI: 10.1080/135943299398410Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A review of transformational and transactional leadership. Transformational leadership includes four dimensions: (a) idealized influence which increases the follower identification with the leader; (b) intellectual stimulation which influences followers to view problems from a new perspective and look for more creative solutions; (c) individualized consideration which provides support, encouragement, and coaching to followers; and (d) inspirational motivation which communicates an appealing vision and uses symbols to focus subordinate effort. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Dionne, Shelley D., Francis J. Yammarino, Leanne E. Atwater, and William D. Spangler. “Transformational Leadership and Team Performance.” Journal of Organizational Change Management 17.2 (2004): 177–193.

    DOI: 10.1108/09534810410530601Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A theory paper around how each dimension of transformational leadership impacts team performance. Proposes leader-idealized influence and inspirational motivation are mediated through team shared vision and team communication and then cohesion. Proposes leader-individualized consideration is mediated by empowered team environment and then communication while leader intellectual stimulation is mediated by functional team conflict and then conflict management. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Wang, Gang, In-Sue Oh, Stephen H. Courtright, and Amy E. Colbert. “Transformational Leadership and Performance across Criteria and Levels: A Meta-Analytic Review of 25 Years of Research.” Group & Organization Management 36.2 (2011): 223–270.

    DOI: 10.1177/1059601111401017Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Demonstrates that the positive relationship between transformational leadership and follower performance occurs across criterion types (task, contextual, and creative) at the individual level. Moderate positive effects of transformational leadership on performance also generalized to the team and organizational levels of analysis. The domains in which transformational leadership has unique explanatory power over transactional leadership are outlined. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Wang, Xiao-Hua, and Jane M. Howell. “Exploring the Dual-Level Effects of Transformational Leadership on Followers.” Journal of Applied Psychology 95.6 (2010): 1134–1144.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0020754Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Looks at the group-level effects of transformational leadership by developing a new framework and scale. Three dimensions of group-focused transformational behaviors emerged: emphasizing group identity, communicating a group vision, and team building. The authors argue that idealized influence and inspirational motivation are the backbones of these dimensions which are used to enhance the individual’s commitment to the group, and therefore, the group’s performance as a whole. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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  • Wang, Xiao-Hua, and Jane M. Howell. “A Multilevel Study of Transformational Leadership, Identification, and Follower Outcomes.” The Leadership Quarterly 23.5 (2012): 775–790.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.02.001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A field study on the cross-level effects of transformational leadership (TFL) behaviors on individual and team outcomes. Findings indicate individual-focused TFL behaviors positively impact individual performance and empowerment through followers’ personal identification with the leader. Group-focused TFL behaviors positively impacted group performance and collective efficacy and were mediated by group identification. Group-focused TFL behaviors also provided a top-down effect on follower identification with the leader. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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