Organizations are replete with groups working on complex, interdependent tasks. To successfully perform such tasks, group members must possess diverse skills and…
Organizations are replete with groups working on complex, interdependent tasks. To successfully perform such tasks, group members must possess diverse skills and perspectives and be able to integrate their differences. This dual requirement poses a challenge because members’ identities are typically intertwined with their diverse skills and perspectives, making group interaction a breeding ground for threats to members’ identities. We explain how identity negotiation processes, especially those associated with self-verification, provide a way for members to defuse the identity threats that can otherwise impede integration. We describe empirical research on the interplay among diversity, identity negotiation processes, and group functioning, and then compare self-verification and self-categorization approaches to managing group diversity.
Teams’ emotional skills can be more than the sum of their individual parts. Although theory emphasizes emotion as an interpersonal adaptation, emotion recognition skill…
Teams’ emotional skills can be more than the sum of their individual parts. Although theory emphasizes emotion as an interpersonal adaptation, emotion recognition skill has long been conceptualized as an individual-level intelligence. We introduce the construct of team emotion recognition accuracy (TERA) – the ability of members to recognize teammates’ emotions – and present preliminary evidence for its predictive validity. In a field study of public service interns working full-time in randomly assigned teams, taken together positive and negative TERA measured at the time of team formation accounted for 28.1% of the variance in team performance ratings nearly a year later.
Purpose – We review how team members’ identities and interests affect team functioning, paying special attention to subgroup dynamics triggered by faultlines and…
Purpose – We review how team members’ identities and interests affect team functioning, paying special attention to subgroup dynamics triggered by faultlines and coalitions. This review sets the stage for describing novel pathways through which identities and interests, when considered together, can affect team processes and outcomes.
Design/approach – We use an extended example of a hypothetical team's decision-making process to illustrate how team members’ identities and interests intertwine to affect the distribution and flow of information, subgroup dynamics, and team decisions.
Findings – We develop three specific ideas to demonstrate the utility of this integrative approach. First, we show how the formation of identity-based subgroups can shape information sharing to create a hidden profile where there was none initially. Second, we describe how individual defection can weaken subgroup competition and, paradoxically, increase the chance that a team will optimize its collective welfare. Third, we analyze how shared identities can shape team members’ side conversations in ways that create shared interests and information among those with similar identities, even before the team begins its formal meetings.
Originality/value – By identifying new routes through which identities and interests can affect team functioning, we provide a foundation for scholars in this domain to theoretically develop and empirically test these and related ideas. More generally, we encourage scholars to study the interplay among identities, interests, and information in their own research to paint a more complete picture of how individuals, subgroups, and teams perform.
Environmental jolts and shifting membership challenge a group's efficacy and survival. Group identity is critical for a shared interpretation of and response to these challenges, but external and internal changes may require corresponding changes in a group's core identity. In a qualitative study of longshoremen in San Pedro, California, we observe an evolution in group identity as we track communication spoken and printed in the hiring halls, on the docks, and during casual social interactions. The emphasis in the shared language gradually shifts from safety and solidarity to safety, collaboration, and economic power. The newly developed language supports and shapes the longshoremen's identity and provides an interpretive guide for how to react to and benefit from disruptive external events.