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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Special issue on excellence in teams: how to achieve performance gains in working groups
Article Type: Call for papers From: Journal of Managerial Psychology, Volume 24, Issue 4
Guest Editor: Guido Hertel, Department of Organizational Psychology, University of Munster, Germany
The frequent implementation of teams in organizations is based on the expectation that teams provide specific advantages compared with employees working alone, often described as process gains or ``synergy'' in teams. These expected advantages include cognitive benefits (e.g. greater creativity due to diversity of perspectives, higher accuracy due to ``more than two eyes'', higher quality problem solving, etc.), motivational benefits (e.g. due to social facilitation, mutual encouragement and support, responsibility and perceived indispensability for others, etc.), and benefits due to the coordination of individual contributions (cf. Hackman and Wageman, 2005). However, although manifold anecdotal evidence for such advantages exists, surprisingly few studies are available that document such performance gains in sound empirical studies, let alone reliable guidelines on how to trigger these advantages with HR strategies (staffing, leadership, work design, training, etc.).
In contrast, there is a long research tradition looking at (or looking for) potential deficits of teamwork, that is, when and why teams fail(e.g. Kerr and Tindale, 2004). Whereas this research on social loafing, conformity effects, group think, or suboptimal use of expertise in ``Hidden Profiles'' is certainly important and instructive, the high prevalence of studies on process losses might bias the perceived base rate of performance gains in teams, and support the impression that ``humans would do better without teams'' (Buys, 1978).
In recent years, this situation has been changing gradually. For instance, various studies have documented motivation gains of individuals during teamwork compared with individual work(e.g. Weber and Hertel, 2007). In a similar way, performance gains due to cognitive stimulation in teams have been documented (e.g. Nijstad et al., 2002). While these new developments are exciting and promising, most of the performance gains have been shown in lab research only and are not yet documented in applied settings. Moreover, as systematic research on performance gains is still in its infancy, there might be numerous other examples of performance gains in teams that await detection and documentation in sound empirical research.The objective of this special issue is to provide a platform for research on performance gains in teams. As a simple definition, performance gains in teams describe accomplishments of teams or individual members that exceed an appropriate baseline of non-teamwork -- usually individual work or nominal groups, but other baselines are conceivable.
Both conceptual and empirical contributions to the special issue are welcome. Empirical contributions should demonstrate performance gains in teams compared with an appropriate baseline either in field settings or in controlled laboratory research. Possible topic areas include, but are not limited to:
Relational or non-experimental studies conducted in field settings on performance gains in teams in business organizations, public administrations, hospitals, etc.
Experimental studies conducted in laboratory settings that assess factors that trigger process gains in teams, including a discussion of potential applications outside the scientific laboratory
Conceptual papers discussing new sources of process gains and/or describing theoretical models that predict and explain process gains in teams
Papers that focus on specific HR strategies (e.g. staffing, task design, team coordination, incentives, etc.) that trigger process gains in teams
Development and/or evaluation of training interventions that facilitate process gains in teams
Demonstration of team learning that leads to performance gains
Examination of robustness and time-related changes of performance gains in teams.
Viable papers specify clear links between process and outcome variables, and provide guidelines and lessons to be learned that guide both practitioners and future researchers.
The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2009, and the special issue is scheduled to appear in early 2010. Please submit manuscripts viae-mail attachment to Kay Sutcliffe, Editorial Administrator for the Journal of Managerial Psychology, at: email@example.com together with a brief note that the manuscript is submitted to the special issue on ``Excellence in teams''.
Manuscripts are expected to follow the JMP submission guidelines: http://info.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=jmpThis special issue is open and competitive. Submitted papers will undergo the normal rigorous, double-blind review process to ensure relevance and quality. Thus, all manuscripts will be subject to double-blind peer-review. Interested authors are encouraged to send a short rÅsumÅ via e-mail to the Guest Editor to facilitate a timely planning of the special issue: firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course, any other questions about the special issue may be addressed by contacting the Guest Editor directly.
Libby, R., Trotman, K.T. and Zimmer, I. (1987), ``Member variation, recognition of expertise, and group performance'', Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 72, pp. 81-7.
Buys, C.J. (1978), ``Humans would do better without groups'', Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 4, pp. 123-25.
Hackman, J.R., and Wageman, R. (2005), ``A theory of team coaching'', Academy of Management Review, Vol. 30, pp. 269-87.
Kerr, N.L. and Tindale, R.S. (2004), ``Group performance and decision making'', Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 55, pp. 623-55.
Nijstad, B.A., Stroebe, W. and Lodewijkx, H.F.M. (2002), ``Cognitive stimulation and interference in groups: exposure effects in an idea generation task'', Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 38, pp. 535-44.
Weber, B. and Hertel, G. (2007), ``Motivation gains of inferior group members: a meta-analytical review'', Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 93, pp. 973-93.