When and how team leaders matter

Hackman, J.R.|Wageman, R.


Team leaders tend to be viewed both by lay observers and by scholars as more influential in shaping team performance than is warranted by research evidence.This chapter identifies the technological, organizational, and contextual constraints that can attenuate the impact of team leader behavior; and explores the behavioral options that remain available to leaders under constraining circumstances. We then address three decisions team leaders make that can spell the difference between team success and failure: (a) what kind of team to create; (b) how to structure the team; and (c) how and when to actively coach the team as it proceeds with its work.We propose that team leaders' decisions about such matters often are made implicitly rather than deliberately, and that they often are suboptimal. Finally, we explore the implications of our analyses for team leader training and development, with emphasis on developmental activities that can make the implicit explicit and promote continuous learning by team leaders and members.

Read When And How Team Leaders Matter