You are on page 1of 6

4/23/2019 Teamwork - Wikipedia

Teamwork is the collaborative effort of a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective
and efficient way.[1][2] This concept is seen within the greater framework of a team, which is a group of interdependent
individuals who work together towards a common goal.[3] Basic requirements for effective teamwork are an adequate
team size (about 6-8 members), available resources for the team to make use of (i.e. meeting space and time, guidance
from a supervisor, support from the organization, etc.), and clearly defined roles within the team in order for everyone
to have a clear purpose.[4][5][6][7] Teamwork is present in any context where a group of people are working together to
achieve a common goal.[1] These contexts include an industrial organization (formal work teams), athletics (sports
teams), a school (classmates working on a project), and the healthcare system (operating room teams). In each of
these settings, the level of teamwork and interdependence can vary from low (e.g. golf, track and field), to
intermediate (e.g. baseball, football), to high (e.g. basketball, soccer), depending on the amount of communication,
interaction, and collaboration present between team members.

Effective teamwork
Basic team dynamics
Transition processes Van pushing
Action processes
Interpersonal processes
Training to improve teamwork
Enhancing teamwork
Drawbacks and benefits
Further reading

History Hauling in a mooring line.

Even though collaborative work among individuals is very prominent

today, that was not the case over half a century ago. The shift from the
typical assembly line to more contemporary organizational models that
contain increasing amounts of teamwork first came about during World
War I and World War II, in an effort for countries to unite their people.
The movement towards teamwork was mostly due to the Hawthorne
studies, a set of studies conducted in the 1920s and 1930s that highlighted
the positive aspects of teamwork in an organizational setting. After
organizations recognized the value of teamwork and the positive effects it
Rowing team.
had on their companies, entire fields of work shifted from the typical
assembly line to the contemporary High Performance Organizational

Effective teamwork 1/6
4/23/2019 Teamwork - Wikipedia

In addition to practical components required for efficient teamwork, there

are certain characteristics that members of the team must have in order to
produce effective teamwork. Firstly, there must be a high level of
interdependence among team members, a characteristic that stems from
open communication and the increase of trust and risk-taking. Through
interdependence come the group dynamics, which are the ways in which
team members interact with each other. Healthy dynamics lead to team
members being more satisfied and therefore working more efficiently Barn raising
together, whereas unhealthy dynamics lead to conflict, and consequentially
to unsatisfied team members. Due to this, an important characteristic of
efficient teamwork is healthy conflict resolution, that comes along with
open communication. In order for efficient teamwork to exist, a team
needs to have clear and attainable goals, through which team members can
feel accomplished and motivated. Finally, sharing leadership positions
between team members enhances teamwork due to the feeling of shared
responsibility and accountability. Team effectiveness and chemistry may
also be linked to personality types. Depending on personality types, teams
may be more or less efficient. Problem-solving: Strategy

Basic team dynamics

Basic team dynamics include:[9]

Open communication to avoid conflicts.

Effective coordination to avoid confusion and the overstepping of
Efficient cooperation to perform the tasks in a timely manner and
produce the required results, especially in the form of workload
High levels of interdependence to maintain high levels of trust, risk-
taking, and performance.
Problem-solving: Team coordination
All these teamwork conditions lead to the team turning in a finished
product. A way to measure if the teamwork was effective, the organization
must examine the quality of the output, the process, and the members' experience. Specifically, the teamwork can be
deemed efficient if: the output met or exceeded the organization's standard; if the process the team chose to take
helped them reach their goals; and if the members are reporting high levels of satisfaction with the team members as
well as the processes which the team followed.

Specific teamwork processes have been identified fall into three categories:[11][12]

Transition processes
These processes occur between periods of action. In this period, the team members can evaluate their overall
performance as a team as well as on an individual level, give feedback to each other, make clarifications about the
upcoming tasks, and make any changes that would improve the process of collaborating.

Task Analysis
Goal Specification
Strategy Formulation 2/6
4/23/2019 Teamwork - Wikipedia

Action processes
These processes take place when the team attempts to accomplish its goals and objectives. In this stage, team
members keep each other informed about their progress and their responsibilities, while helping one another with
certain tasks. Feedback and collaborative work continues to exist in high levels throughout this process.

Monitoring progress toward goals

Systems Monitoring
Team Monitoring and Backup Behavior

Interpersonal processes
These processes are present in both action periods and transition periods, and occur between team members. This is a
continuous process, in which team members must communicate any thoughts and/or feelings concerning either
another team member or a manner in which a task is being performed. Furthermore, team members encourage and
support each other on their individual tasks.

Conflict management
Motivation and Confidence building
Affect Management
Teamwork performance generally improves when a team passes through these processes, since processes like these
enhance coordination and communication between the team members and therefore increase teamwork and
collaborative work.[13]

Training to improve teamwork

Overall, teamwork and performance can be enhanced through specific training that targets the individual team
members and the team as a whole.[2] Bruce Tuckman proposed a team developmental model that separated the stages
of a team's lifespan and the level of teamwork for each stage:[14][15]

1. Forming

This stage is described by approach/avoidance issues, as well as internal conflicts about being independent
vs. wanting to be a part of the team.
Team members usually tend to 'play it safe' and minimize their risk taking in case something goes wrong.
Teamwork in this stage is at its lowest levels.
2. Storming

The second stage is characterized by a competition for power and authority, which is the source of most of the
conflicts and doubts about the success of the team.
If teamwork is low in this stage, it is very unlikely that the team will get past their conflicts. If there is a high
degree of teamwork and willingness to collaborate, then the team might have a brighter future.
3. Norming

The third stage is characterized by increasing levels of solidarity, interdependence, and cohesiveness, while
simultaneously making an effort to adjust to the team environment.
This stage shows much higher levels of teamwork that make it easier for the above characteristics to occur.
4. Performing

This final stage of team development includes a comfortable environment in which team members are
effectively completing tasks in an interdependent and cohesive manner.
This stage is characterized by the highest levels of comfort, success, interdependence, and maturity, and
therefore includes the highest levels of teamwork.

Enhancing teamwork 3/6
4/23/2019 Teamwork - Wikipedia

A manner in which organizational psychologists measure teamwork is through the Knowledge, Skills, and
Abilities (KSA) Teamwork Test.[16] The KSA Teamwork Test was developed by Michael Stevens and Michael
Campion in 1994 and it assesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) of people wanting to join a team.
Specifically, the KSA is a 35-item test that is designed to measure 14 individual KSA requirements for teamwork,
especially within formal teams (i.e. those with per-designated tasks), since self-managing teams have a need for
high levels of teamwork. Overall, the KSA is separated into two main categories: The Interpersonal KSAs that
contain items such as Conflict Resolution and Communication, and the Self-Management KSAs that include items
such as Goal Setting and Task Coordination. The fact that the KSA focuses on team-oriented situations and on
knowledge of appropriate behaviors instead of personality characteristics makes the test appropriate to assess
teamwork and team-specific behavior. Furthermore, it makes it appropriate for organizations to figure out their
personnel's level of teamwork, and ways in which they can improve their teamwork and communication skills.

Drawbacks and benefits

Utilizing teamwork is sometimes unnecessary and can lead to teams not reaching their performance peak. Some of
those disadvantages include:[17][18]

Social Loafing: This phenomenon appears when an individual working in a group places less effort than they can
towards a task. This can create an inequality between the amount of work other individuals are placing within the
team, therefore can create conflict and lead to lower levels of performance.
Behavior Conflicts or Ingrained Individualism: Employees in higher organizational levels have adapted to their
positions at the top that require more individualism, and therefore have trouble engaging in collaborative work.
This creates a more competitive environment with a lack of communication and higher levels of conflict. This
disadvantage is mostly seen organizations that utilize teamwork in an extremely hierarchical environment.
Individual Tasks: Certain tasks do not require teamwork, and are more appropriate for individual work. By
placing a team to complete an 'individual task', there can be high levels of conflict between members which can
damage the team's dynamic and weaken their overall performance.
Working in teams has also shown to be very beneficial. Some of these advantages include:[17][18]

Problem solving: A group of people can bring together various perspectives and combine views and opinions to
rapidly and effectively solve an issue. Due to the team's culture, each team member has a responsibility to
contribute equally and offer their unique perspective on a problem to arrive at the best possible solution.[19]
Overall, teamwork can lead to better decisions, products, or services. The effectiveness of teamwork depends on
the following six components of collaboration among team members: communication, coordination, balance of
member contributions, mutual support, effort, and cohesion.[20]
Healthy competition: A healthy competition in groups can be used to motivate individuals and help the team
Developing relationships: A team that continues to work together will eventually develop an increased level of
bonding. This can help members avoid unnecessary conflicts since they have become well acquainted with each
other through teamwork.[19] By building strong relationships between members, team members' satisfaction with
their team increases, therefore improving both teamwork and performance.[12]
Individual qualities: Every team member can offer their unique knowledge and ability to help improve other team
members. Through teamwork the sharing of these qualities will allow team members to be more productive in the
Motivation: Working collaboratively can lead to increased motivation levels within a team due to increasing
accountability for individual performance. When groups are being compared, members tend to become more
ambitious to perform better. Providing groups with a comparison standard increases their performance level thus
encouraging members to work collaboratively.[21]

1. Montebello, Anthony; Buzzotta, Victor (1993). "Work Teams That Work" (
13770774/work-teams-that-work). Retrieved February 22, 2018.
2. Salas, Eduardo, Nancy J. Cooke, and Michael A. Rosen (2008). "On Teams, Teamwork, as well as Team
Performance: Discoveries and Developments". Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society. 50 (3): 540–547. doi:10.1518/001872008X288457 (
288457). PMID 18689065 (
3. Parker, Glenn (2008). Team Players and Teamwork: New Strategies for Developing Successful Collaboration.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. pp. 1–68. ISBN 978-0-787-99811-0. 4/6
4/23/2019 Teamwork - Wikipedia

4. Chang, Artemis; Bordia, Prashanti; Duck, Julie (2003). "Punctuated Equilibrium and Linear Progression: Toward a
New Understanding of Group Development". Academy of Management Journal. 46: 106–117.
5. Gersick, Connie (1991). "Revolutionary Change Theories: A Multilevel Exploration of the Punctuated Equilibrium
Paradigm". Academy of Management Review. 16: 10–16. doi:10.5465/amr.1991.4278988 (
6. West, Michael (2012). Effective Teamwork: Practical Lessons from Organizational Research. Wiley-Blackwell.
ISBN 978-0-470-97498-8.
7. Woods, Stephen; West, Michael (2014). The Psychology of Work and Organizations. Andover: Cengage Learning
EMEA. ISBN 9781408072455.
8. Hoegl, Martin & Hans Georg Gemuenden (2001). "Teamwork Quality and the Success of Innovative Projects: a
Theoretical Concept and Empirical Evidence". Organization Science. 12 (4): 435–449.
doi:10.1287/orsc.12.4.435.10635 ( JSTOR 3085981 (https://ww
9. Hackman, Richard (1990). Groups That Work (and Those That Don't): Creating Conditions for Effective
Teamwork. Jossey-Bass. pp. 1–13, 479–504. ISBN 978-1555421878.
10. Ilgen, Daniel; Hollenbeck, John (October 5, 2004). "Teams in Organizations: From Input-Process-Output Models
to IMOI Models". Annual Review of Psychology. 56: 517–543. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070250 (http
s:// PMID 15709945 (
11. Marks, Michelle A., John E. Mathieu, and Stephen J. Zacaro punda (2001). "A Temporally Based Framework and
Taxonomy of Team Processes". Academy of Management Review. 26 (3): 356–376. doi:10.2307/259182 (https:// JSTOR 259182 (
12. LePine, Jeffery A., Ronald F. Piccolo, Christine L. Jackson, John E. Mathieu, and Jessica R. Saul (2008). "A
Meta-Analysis of Teamwork Processes: Tests of a Multidimensional Model and Relationships with Team
Effectiveness Criteria". Personnel Psychology. 61 (2): 273–307. CiteSeerX ( doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2008.00114.x (
2Fj.1744-6570.2008.00114.x). ISSN 0031-5826 (
13. Cattani, G., Ferriani, S., Mariani, M. e S. Mengoli (2013) "Tackling the 'Galácticos' Effect: Team Familiarity and the
Performance of Star-Studded Projects", Industrial and Corporate Change, 22(6): 1629-1662.[1] (
14. Tuckman, Bruce (1965). "Developmental Sequence in Small Groups". Psychological Bulletin. 63 (6): 384–399.
doi:10.1037/h0022100 (
15. Neusch, Donna; Siebenaler, Alan (1998). The High Performance Enterprise: Reinventing the People Side of Your
Business. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 135–177. ISBN 978-0939246298.
16. Stevens, Michael; Campion, Michael (1994). "The Knowledge, Skill, and Ability Requirements for Teamwork:
Implications of Human Resource Management". Journal of Management. 20 (2): 503–530.
doi:10.1177/014920639402000210 (
17. Osbrun, Jack; Moran, Linda; Musselwhite, Ed (1990). Self-Directed Work Teams: The New American Challenge.
Homewood, IL: McGraw-Hill. pp. 1–26. ISBN 978-1556233418.
18. Katzenbach, Jon; Smith, Douglas (2015). The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization.
Harvard Business School Press. pp. 1–26.
19. Chin, Roger (2015). "Examining teamwork and leadership in the fields of public administration, leadership, and
management". Team Performance Management. 21 (3/4): 199–216. doi:10.1108/TPM-07-2014-0037 (https://doi.o
20. Hoegl, Martin & Hans Georg Gemuenden (2001). "Teamwork Quality and the Success of Innovative Projects: a
Theoretical Concept and Empirical Evidence". Organization Science. 12 (4): 435–449.
doi:10.1287/orsc.12.4.435.10635 ( JSTOR 3085981 (https://ww
21. Paulus, P (2000). "Groups, teams, and creativity: the creative potential of idea-generating groups". Applied
Psychology. 49 (2): 237–262. doi:10.1111/1464-0597.00013 (

Further reading 5/6
4/23/2019 Teamwork - Wikipedia

Larson, Carl E. & Frank M. LaFasto (1989). Teamwork: What Must Go Right, What Can Go Wrong. Newbury
Park, CA: SAGE. ISBN 978-0-8039-3289-0.
Jones, Gareth R.; George, Jennifer M. (1998). "The Experience and Evolution of Trust: Implications for
Cooperation and Teamwork". The Academy of Management Review. 23 (3): 531–546. doi:10.2307/259293 (http
s:// JSTOR 259293 (
Sexton, J. Bryan, Eric J. Thomas, and Robert L. Helmreich (2000). "Error, Stress, and Teamwork in Medicine and
Aviation: Cross Sectional Surveys" ( BMJ. 320 (7237):
745–749. doi:10.1136/bmj.320.7237.745 ( PMC 27316 (https://ww PMID 10720356 (
Hall, P.; Weaver, L. (2001). "Interdisciplinary Education and Teamwork: a Long and Winding Road". Medical
Education. 35 (9): 867–875. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2923.2001.00919.x (
Thomas, Eric J.; Sexton, J. Bryan; Helmreich, Robert L. (2003). "Discrepant Attitudes about Teamwork Among
Critical Care Nurses and Physicians". Critical Care Medicine. 31 (3): 956–959.
doi:10.1097/01.CCM.0000056183.89175.76 (
PMID 12627011 (
Sheard, A. G. & A. P. Kakabadse (2004). "A Process Perspective on Leadership and Team Development". The
Journal of Management Development. 23 (1): 7–11, 13–41, 43–79, 81–106. doi:10.1108/02621710410511027 (htt
Leonard, M.; Graham, S.; Bonacum, D. (2004). "The Human Factor: the Critical Importance of Effective Teamwork
and Communication in Providing Safe Care" ( Quality
and Safety in Health Care. 13 (Supplement 1): i85–i90. doi:10.1136/qshc.2004.010033 (
Fqshc.2004.010033). PMC 1765783 ( PMID 15465961
Baker, David P.; Day, Rachel; Salas, Eduardo (2006). "Teamwork as an Essential Component of High-Reliability
Organizations" ( Health Services Research. 41 (4p2):
1576–1598. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2006.00566.x (
PMC 1955345 ( PMID 16898980 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.n
DeChurch, Leslie A.; Mesmer-Magnus, Jessica R. (2010). "The Cognitive Underpinnings of Effective Teamwork: a
Meta-Analysis". Journal of Applied Psychology. 95 (1): 32–53. doi:10.1037/a0017328 (
a0017328). PMID 20085405 (
Xyrichis, Andreas; Ream, Emma (2008). "Teamwork: a concept analysis". Journal of Advanced Nursing. 61 (2):
232–241. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04496.x (

Retrieved from ""

This page was last edited on 18 April 2019, at 17:35 (UTC).

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using
this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia
Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization. 6/6