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The Importance of Time in Team Leadership Research

Team Dynamics Over Time

ISBN: 978-1-78635-404-4, eISBN: 978-1-78635-403-7

ISSN: 1534-0856

Publication date: 4 August 2017



Our aim is to catalog how the functional behaviors that leaders engage in should change over time based on the needs of the team – thereby presenting a functional view of team leadership over time.


A critical review of the literature on team leadership, team development, and teams was conducted. This information was critically analyzed and integrated to produce a framework serving to depict how team needs change over time, and based on this, highlight the leadership behaviors which should be most critical at particular points in time. Based on the limited amount of literature that explicitly focused on team leadership over time, a series of propositions which flow from the framework are also put forth.


Great strides have been made in understanding team leadership; however, little work was uncovered that directly focused on how leadership dynamics change over time within the context of the team. Leveraging the limited work that existed, we developed a framework (and propositions) that serves to delineate how team leadership functions change over time. In doing so, we have integrated work delineating leadership functions within transition and action phases of team task cycles along with that highlighting how the role of the leader may vary based on team developmental needs.


The originality of this chapter lies in its using a functional approach to leadership to argue how the efficacy of particular leadership functions change over time based on team task cycles and development needs. This, in turn, can be used to focus training efforts.



Burke, C.S., Georganta, E. and Hernandez, C. (2017), "The Importance of Time in Team Leadership Research", Team Dynamics Over Time (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-122.



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