The purpose of this paper is to investigate interactions among members of self-managed teams (SMTs). The authors were interested in how leader emergence, group potency, and opinion compliance were related to team cohesion and member well-being.
In a simulated business environment, the authors surveyed 236 students working in 54 SMTs. Participants reported their interactions and experiences at several points of time during class. Individual responses about team cohesion and group potency were aggregated for the purposes of the analysis.
The paper found that leader emergence was associated with reduced cohesion among members and diminished individual well-being. Group potency was modestly associated with better cohesion among team members. Participants of more cohesive groups reported higher individual well-being. Opposite to the predictions, opinion compliance was not significantly related to individual well-being.
Within the limitations of the study design, the results suggest that leader emergence may have adverse effect on team interactions. Future research should investigate the positive and negative implications of an emerging leader in SMTs.
The broad application of SMTs in organizations necessitates a critical examination of team dynamics and individual experiences of members. Along with team productivity, managers should consider the effects of team interactions on employees’ well-being. Employees who are drawn to more discretionary work such as SMTs may not favor leader emergence.
The findings suggest that leader emergence may have negative implications for other team members and the overall team functioning.
Markova, G. and T. Perry, J. (2014), "Cohesion and individual well-being of members in self-managed teams", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 429-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-04-12-0058Download as .RIS
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