This qualitative study investigated how small group communication influences the development of shared mental models in a committee of public librarians addressing a…
This qualitative study investigated how small group communication influences the development of shared mental models in a committee of public librarians addressing a problem-solving task. It examines the influence of communication themes, functions, roles, and rules on the group's development of shared mental models about the task and about team interaction. Data were collected over the course of a year from group meetings, email messages, group documents, and participant interviews and then analyzed using existing coding schemes and qualitative coding techniques. The findings indicate that within the group there was a strong superficial convergence around the task mental model and the team interaction mental model but a weaker convergence at a deeper level. Analysis of the group communication data shows that the group focused discussion on understanding the problem and identifying tasks, enacting group roles and rules that facilitated sharing information. The functions of their messages focused on task communication. The findings suggest that, in this group, communication themes most heavily influenced the development of a shared mental model about the task, while communication roles, rules, and functions were more influential toward the development of a shared mental model about team interaction. Implications for practice include adopting intentional tactics for surfacing mental models at various points in the group life and anchoring the emerging model within the collective cognition of the group through devices such as narratives, objects, or documentary materials.
Purpose – Leadership is a very large topic with a long history of scholarship. Despite this, existing theories of leadership have been mostly silent about group-level…
Purpose – Leadership is a very large topic with a long history of scholarship. Despite this, existing theories of leadership have been mostly silent about group-level phenomena and challenges that leaders of small teams face. Our chapter begins to address this problem by specifying four functions or challenges that any theory of group leadership should address if it is to be helpful to small-group scholars looking for answers about leading teams.
Approach – In order to identify main group functions that should be managed by leaders and be developed into refined leadership theories, we review both leadership and team studies. Based on the four functions that we establish, we briefly review a selection of major leadership theories that we believe can provide the foundations for new and better group-level leadership theories.
Findings – By using two theoretical categorization (managing individual group members vs. managing group; affective/motivational vs. cognitive functions), we suggest that leaders of small groups deal with the four key leadership functions – (1) managing within-group interpersonal dynamics, (2) within-group coordination of information/resources, (3) group-level affect management, and (4) managing group boundaries for information/resources flow and group identity.
Value – This chapter provides specific group functions that groups and teams scholars can use as a foundation to develop better theory of small-group leadership.
Although existing research on cohesion provides a robust understanding of the emergent phenomenon in small groups and teams, our comprehension of cohesion at the…
Although existing research on cohesion provides a robust understanding of the emergent phenomenon in small groups and teams, our comprehension of cohesion at the multisystem (MTS) level is quite limited. The simultaneous within- and between-team functioning inherent in MTSs produces more intricate dynamics than those observed at the team level. This added layer of complexity requires that many familiar team constructs, including cohesion, be systematically re-conceptualized and empirically examined through the lens of MTS theory (DeChurch & Zaccaro, 2010; Hackman, 2003). The present research addresses this gap by extending the conceptualization of team cohesion to the interteam level, and empirically investigating how cohesion functions across levels in a collective network of teams. Results from preliminary research suggest that intrateam and interteam cohesion share a curvilinear relationship with one another, while simultaneously interacting to affect overall system-level outcomes. This research not only illuminates the complexities associated with emergent phenomena in MTSs, but also serves as a starting point for continued, systematic research of the multilevel cohesive bonds that characterize MTS functioning.
In the present review, top management groups (TMGs) are examined within the context of small group models and recent research studies. Differences and similarities among TMGs and other types of groups are highlighted. Five models of small groups are discussed. In this review, these models are summarized and organized using systems theory by identifying key inputs, processes, outcomes, and moderators for each model. Finally, key research conducted with TMGs, including demography, is examined and synthesized.
This paper investigates the association between team constraint and team performance. Constraint is a quantitative measure describing the pattern of connections between contacts in personal network. Team members do not leave the relationships they have with other people behind when they act as part of a team. This paper looks at one way in which the pattern of connections that team members have in their personal networks affects the performance of the team. There are 15 process improvement teams from the same company in the sample. The results from this study provide some evidence that personal networks are important to team performance, strengthening the assertion that differences in social networks do explain performance variations.
Purpose – In this chapter, we review the research on status hierarchies in groups and teams to assess the relative validity of two major models – the dominance and functionalist theories of status hierarchies. We find that these models cannot fully account for empirical evidence in the literature, and thus propose a new model of status hierarchies, Micropolitics.
Methodology/approach – We examine the relative validity of current major theories by reviewing the literature on status hierarchies in groups.
Findings – We find that, although most of the literature supports the functionalist theory of status hierarchies, this theory cannot explain some of the existing empirical evidence. Drawing on both functionalist and dominance perspectives, we propose a new theory of status, the Micropolitics model, to account for this evidence. Specifically, we propose that in the “micro” context of groups and teams, individuals attain status by convincing their group that they possess the skills and abilities needed to take charge – just as political candidates must convince voters they are the right people for the job.
Originality/value of paper – This paper proposes a new theory of status hierarchies in groups that may provide additional explanatory power for status researchers. It suggests that groups strive to attain meritocracy, but may put the wrong people in charge.
The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding on team listening by incorporating an action component. The authors empirically test the effect of this expanded…
The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding on team listening by incorporating an action component. The authors empirically test the effect of this expanded concept, namely team action listening on team success, and investigate how team commitment moderates the relationship between team trust and team action listening.
The authors explored listening in teams in the field and in the lab, both qualitatively and quantitatively, through studying 474 team members representing 100 teams. The authors tested the hypotheses by structural equation modeling augmented with in-depth team interviews.
The findings showed that: teams demonstrate that they listen by taking action, teams that exhibit action listening are more successful, there is a direct relationship between team trust and team action listening and team commitment negatively moderates this relation in larger teams.
Managers should encourage taking action in team discussions. Yet, they should be wary of the detrimental effects of team commitment to team action listening particularly in teams with high trust. Commitment increases the risk of groupthink and decreases the participation to team discussions and listening. In particular, managers may benefit from keeping the team smaller, as in large teams, commitment suppresses the relationship between trust and team action listening.
This study extends research on team listening by adding the action aspect that distinguishes successful teams. It is one of the first to investigate the interrelationships between team trust, commitment, team action listening and success in teams.
Ten common “sand‐traps”, selected bytwo team‐building consultants fromtheir experiences in team building, arediscussed along with the interventionsthat have worked…
Ten common “sand‐traps”, selected by two team‐building consultants from their experiences in team building, are discussed along with the interventions that have worked successfully for them and with their clients, both team leaders and team members, in chipping out of the sometimes unavoidable sand‐trap. The sand‐trap metaphor also points to sharpening skills already apparent in the team, and to increasing alternatives for constructive problem solving. A consultant′s checklist is included for managing a successful team‐building effort.
The purpose of the study is to understand the team communication skill among students with engineering background.
The purpose of the study is to understand the team communication skill among students with engineering background.
Labour market offers more employment to those who have better social skills than those who fair less on these skills. It is pertinent to integrate these skills among engineers. In the study, a Qual-quant-Qual platform was created to develop social skill andragogy for engineers from India. Involving 132 engineers, the authors gathered qualitative and quantitative data to understand their perspective on communication and the emergent factors of team communication skill.
The qualitative study supports the view that despite theoretical awareness, the actions may differ. The factor analysis of the data revealed five important factors of interpersonal communication. The study offers six utilities in support of andragogy.
The study offers a platform to engineers to internalize and reflect differences in order for the real learning to take place, and it also offers space to faculty members to simulate and offer relevant interventions.
It is quite common today for teams to use facilitators to expedite group process and help the teams reach desired goals. As the use of facilitators becomes widespread…
It is quite common today for teams to use facilitators to expedite group process and help the teams reach desired goals. As the use of facilitators becomes widespread, however, people called in as facilitators may find themselves also being expected to serve as leaders, mediators, and/or instructors' to name only a few of the combined roles that exist. Some of this confusion over the duties of the facilitator arises because people use the term “facilitate” rather loosely to cover a variety of activities. In this paper the authors discusses the definition of facilitation, the differing goals of basic and developmental facilitation, interventions techniques and tools that might be used, facilitator skills needed, and desired outcomes. I also raise questions related to each of these areas that might improve the chances of having a desirable outcome for all involved in the facilitation.