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Team establishment of self-managed work teams: a model from the field

Emerald | Team Performance Management | Table of Contents >> 
Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe a model of team establishment that emerged from 64 teams comprised of mid-career working professionals. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 64 similarly configured 18 member teams assembled for work on the same day and, thereafter, worked on similar tasks. A single representative team was observed throughout its process of its formation-establishment-using participant observation and interviews. A case report describing the process was co-constructed afterward. Individuals from remaining teams systematically compared/contrasted their experience with the case report. Qualitative analysis of 874 responses provides the basis for this paper. Findings – Teams formed very differently than expected. A highly dynamic and rapid process was seen. The model suggests interplay between ongoing assessment of the context and organizing for work while norms emerge and work is performed. Research limitations/implications – Individual comparisons/contrasts with the case report, unlike the case report itself, were not the result of prolonged engagement, persistent observation, triangulation, and co-construction processes. The research focus was on team development; implications for performance are not addressed. Practical implications – Leaders can influence the speed of establishment through intentionality during the establishment phase. The rapid establishment process that emerged here may have application across a wider range of work settings—especially where members are experienced in working collaboratively. Originality/value – The model of team establishment has likely application in other settings.?The study also suggests the valuable insights that study informants can contribute to research.

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Cross-functional team effectiveness: An examination of internal team environment, shared leadership, and cohesion influences

Emerald | Team Performance Management | Table of Contents >> 
Abstract

Purpose – Current research remains unclear on what factors contribute to cross-functional team (CFT) success. Thus, the primary purpose of this investigation is to examine internal factors of the team (namely internal team environment, shared leadership, and cohesion) and the influence of each factor on CFT effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach – Structural equation modeling is used to empirically examine the data collected from an undergraduate student sample. Teams worked competitively on a complex task requiring functional area expertise. Findings – Results from the study indicate internal team environment influences effectiveness through shared leadership and cohesion as found in other forms of teams. However, unique to CFTs, internal team environment is not directly related to effectiveness, and shared leadership does not directly influence cohesion. The findings suggest that in CFTs, internal team environment indirectly influences effectiveness. Research limitations/implications – The findings of this study can be used to expand current models of CFT effectiveness. Additionally, by examining the internal dynamics of the team (e.g. internal team environment) researchers will be better able to account for the previous vast differences found in CFT outcomes. Practical implications – Managers interested in influencing team effectiveness are encouraged to focus on the internal dynamics of CFTs. To indirectly influence team effectiveness managers should insure teams establish a clear purpose and that members support one another and feel comfortable making contributions to the team. Originality/value – This investigation offers understanding of how CFTs can be structured to influence effectiveness and provides insight into previously inconsistent findings. Both researchers and managers will benefit from an enhanced understanding of how internal factors uniquely influence CFT effectiveness.

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Corporate social responsibility, upward influence behavior, team processes and competitive intelligence

Emerald | Team Performance Management | Table of Contents >> 
Abstract

Purpose – The cumulative pool of data piling through the empirical expedition around hospitals in Vietnam provides the clue on whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) influences upward influence behavior, which in turn catalyzes team processes and competitive intelligence scanning. The aim of this paper is to journey through the review of the constructs of CSR, upward influence behavior, and team processes. Design/methodology/approach – Structural equation modeling (SEM) approach served as an analyst for 349 responses returned from self-administered structured questionnaires despatched to 522 hospital members in the middle-management position. Findings – A model of team processes and competitive intelligence evolved along the process of hypothesis testing. Ethical CSR was found to cultivate organizationally beneficial upward influence behavior in the healthcare service organizations. Originality/value – The research findings provide the insight into the CSR-based model of team processes which underscores the role of ethical CSR initiatives and organizationally beneficial upward influence tactics in the activation of competitive intelligence scanning deeds in hospitals in Vietnam business setting.

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Do behaviors of string quartet ensembles represent self-managed teams?

Emerald | Team Performance Management | Table of Contents >> 
Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to explore whether string quartets (SQs) adopt self-managed-team (SMT) principles in line with organizational models of team work. This exploration is significant in face of the status of the SQ as one of the leading and prototypical ensembles in Western music. Design/methodology/approach – Members of 22 leading SQs around the world were contacted and asked to fill out a questionnaire which measures SMT characteristics in managerial teams while referring to their own SQ ensemble. Findings – Results showed that SMT levels of all SQs were extremely high (M=4.39, SD =0.39, on a 1 to 5 scale). In addition, four factors were revealed in this questionnaire: Interpersonal relations and shared monitoring, Leadership, Management style, and Resources explaining 18.4, 15.9, 14.2, and 11.9 percent of the variance, respectively. Research limitations/implications – The current sample is limited in size and may not adequately represent professional SQs worldwide. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that SQs actually work as SMTs. Additionally, the SMT frame of SQs is expressed in distinct factors of characteristics. Originality/value – The current study is one of a few investigations that examined descriptions of SQ members about behaviors in their own musical ensembles. This study suggests that successful SQs may serve as a benchmark for various SMTs in organizational settings.

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Airline downsizing and its impact on team performance

Emerald | Team Performance Management | Table of Contents >> 
Abstract

Purpose – The article draws on a mixed method study of US airline pilots in order to examine the impact of corporate downsizing on pilots' trust, morale, and organizational commitment. The aim of the paper is to review current literature on downsizing and high-risk teams and to identify gaps in the understanding of how external influences like downsizing can impact high-risk team's operational performance through an increase in mistakes, distraction, and stress. Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained from 127 in depth pilot survey responses from captains and first officers from major US airlines and 43 semi-structured interviews of one to two hours in length. Findings – Commercial pilots working in downsized airlines reported increased stress, distraction, and suspicion with a corresponding reduction in trust, morale, and organizational commitment. Research limitations/implications – The article contributes to the literature in corporate downsizing and high-risk team performance. Insights from these areas provide a lens by which to evaluate post-9/11 managerial decision-making in one high-risk field, aviation, with implications for leadership in other fields of risky work. Originality/value – Although research examining leadership and teamwork in high-risk fields has been growing, few studies consider managerial decisions and the resultant organizational climate within which these teams must operate, particularly in the post-9/11 period. Findings suggest that this is a unique, emerging area that warrants further research.

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Starting new team operations: lessons from greenfield managers

Emerald | Team Performance Management | Table of Contents >> 
Abstract

Purpose – Greenfields are new plants, typically but not exclusively manufacturing, that belong to an existing organization; as such, they offer an organizational strategy for understanding knowledge transfer. Greenfields are important to understand because they offer advantages for expansion into new economic and labor markets. But the overall challenges starting up a new greenfield cannot be overlooked. The aim of this paper is to try to better understand how knowledge transfer occurs in these interesting team operations. Design/methodology/approach – Plant and human resource managers representing 33 greenfield organizations from food and beverage, consumer products, heavy manufacturing, pharmaceutical and automotive industries were contacted. Managers discuss greenfield rationale, vision, work practices, and business characteristics. Both opportunities and risks are described, along with examples from the research literature. Findings – Greenfields can be successful as experiments in knowledge transfer but are unlikely by themselves to create large-scale organizational change. Greenfields offer long-term potential if team work practices and culture can be sustained and ultimately transferred to other parts of the organization, but this requires strong senior management support. Practical implications – Opportunities and risks involved in greenfield start-ups are discussed, along with practical examples from managers from diverse industries. Originality/value – This paper helps to fill the gap between greenfield promise and reality.

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