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Composing Effective Teams through Team Dating

In this article, the authors made particular focus on team members’ relations (network data) that are determined as potentially valuable in the entire set of factors. (Reagans 2004).The aim of study was outlined as the generation of effective suggestions for practical team design based social network research and appropriate insights from scholar literature combining.Two hypothesis were put at the beginning of empirical research:

Hypothesis 1. Teamwork quality is higher in teams based on maximizing thenumber of reciprocal relational preferences than in attribute-based teams.

Hypothesis 2. Team cognitive complexity is higher in teams based on maximizing the number of reciprocal relational preferences than in attribute-based teams (Curseu 2010).

The dependent variables wereteamwork quality and teams’ cognitive complexity. As the outcome of provided experiment, authors achieved statistical support to both of mentioned hypothesizes. With interpreting of reached results, scholars make next conclusions:

  1. Teamwork’s quality is better in teams based on reciprocal relational preferences expressed by potential team members after short initial contacts. Thereby, network data can be successfully used in efficient teams’ design
  2. Knowledge integration is more effective in team-dating teams than in attribute-based teams.
  3. There is positive impact of team variety on teams’ cognitive complexity (Curseu 2010).

According to authors, the main practical implementation of their research refers to efficient teams design improvement through relational data collection during short initial contacts.

Talking about my own ideas about learnt material, I found it pretty curious and relevant from scientific point of view. First of all, readers are able to deal with fresh empirical study that addresses relevant and not so much investigated issues. At second, we are allowed to meet complex approach to subject, involving all important sociological, organizational and even psychological issues. In this order, we can remind the emphasized importance of “first impressions”, as rather accurate index of further relations’ development predication (Ambady and Rosenthal 1992). In addition, readers are able to find experimental support to theoretical ideas. Despite all positives, results achieved in this study should not be perceived as some axiom. The point is there are direct evidences that correlations and differences in stats were caused by “reciprocal relational preferences” and “attribute-based” indexes. In this order, the research does not consider an impact of such issues as task characteristics, leadership, team management, team structure and team context that are undoubtedly crucial for efficient team operation.

2. “Team Work in Context: Institutional Mediation in the Public-service Professional Bureaucracy”
It is well known fact thatteamwork takes various forms across organizational settings (Marchington 2000; Mueller 1994). Analyzed article examines how context shapes the emergence of team work withinthe public-service professional bureaucracy. As the basis of theoretical position, authors outlined five main propositions that present the ambiguous nature of team work:

Proposition 1: Team work emerges as a product of micro-level processes of social construction.
Proposition 2: The emergence of team work is shaped by the local organizational context.
Proposition 3: Team work is shaped by the macro-level institutional context.
Proposition 4: Team work will be shaped by the professional institution.
Proposition 5: Team work is shaped by an interaction between professional institutional and local-organizational context (Fin 2010).

The two cases (Carcity and Unicity)were selected for evaluation of the pilot ‘mainstreaming genetics’ initiative. The aim was determined as the elucidating the contextualized micro-processes through which team work emerged required an in-depth, qualitative approach. By comparing two different cases with significant differences, scholars got some supports to previously placed propositions about complicated and ambiguous nature of teamwork, with combined external and internal factors. At the end of research, authors make next conclusions: 1)The antecedents to team work are particularly important; 2)The historical development of established working relationships between team members, role and career expectations beyond traditional boundaries, and skills and experience, are all vital in creating conditions in which professional change through team work emerged; 3)Within the realm of public services the nature of local-organizational context are more directly shaped and constrained by numerous, often contradictory, top-down government policies and imperatives (Fin 2010).

Dealing with appropriate work, I found it relevant from two points of view. At first, readers are still allowed to get comprehensive scholar report about extremely specific area of management, and that is interesting a priori. At second, it was useful to get the clear idea that teamwork is not some kind of constant institution that is managed in one way only. In this order, treating teamwork as an interdependent group of more than two people working towards a common goal (Donnellon 1996) is doubtful one. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with definition, but nature requires much deeper approach to origins and features of teamwork. In other words, analyzed article is helpful to get the idea of respectful scholar why context is so crucial for teamwork’s shaping and emergence consequently (Benders and Van Hootegem 1999; Dunphy and Bryant 1996).

3. “Work Group Effort and Rewards: The Roles of Organizational and Social Power as Context”
The aim of appropriate article was to clarify the impact of management-initiatedteams on a broader basis by evaluating their consequences relative to craft-based work groups and relative to more traditional settings based on bureaucratic and supervisory control of individual workers(Hodson 2010). To make study multifaceted and comprehensive, the contexts were considered, and research was conducted in all of three types of environment: unionized workplaces, coercive management, and minority labor forces (Ancona and Caldwell 1992).The finding of author looks in next way – balance of power with management is the best condition to get both greater effort and positive experiences. This balance is proposed to be achieved through craft traditions that include a role for worker rights and interests or through unions, which explicitly bargain for these interests (Hodson 2010).Summing up all findings and achieved results, writer suggests that organizational policy has to take into account that work teams are most effective under the influence of bilateral power, in contrast to unilateral one, that reduce it significantly (Hodson 2010).

Speaking frankly, analyzed work did not brought some revolutionary ideas. For example, the crucial meaning of power balance was already emphasized by Foucault before(1988). However, this work remains valuable due to empiric supports of theoretical statement. In addition, we found pretty reasonable approach that involved differences of contexts and working environments in respect to complicated nature of organizational management. It looks rather pleasant that liberal and democratic preferences in power organization and sharing found experimental supports.

References
Ambady, N., Rosenthal, R.(1992).‘Thin slices of expressive behavior as predictors of interpersonal consequences: A meta-analysis’.Psychological Bulletin, 111/2, pp. 256–274.
Ancona, D. and Caldwell D. (1992). “Demography and design: Predictors of new product team performance”. Organization Science, 3, pp. 321–341.
Benders, J. and Van Hootegem, G.(1999). “Teams and their context: Moving the team discussion beyond existing dichotomies”. Journal of Management Studies, 36, pp. 609–628.
Curseu, P.,Kenis, P.,Raab J. and Brande, U. (2010). “Composing Effective Teams through Team Dating”. Organization Studies, 31, pp. 873-894.
Donnellon, A. (1996).“Team talk: The power of language in team dynamics”. Boston: HBS Press.
Dunphy, D. and Bryant, B. (1996). “Teams: Panaceas or prescriptions for improved performance?”. HumanRelations, 49/5, pp. 677–699.
Finn, R, Currie, G. and Martin G. (2010). “Team Work in Context: Institutional Mediation in the Public-service ProfessionalBureaucracy”. Organization Studies, 31, pp. 1069-1097.
Foucault, M. (1988). “Politics, philosophy, culture: Interviews and other writings”. New York: Routledge.
Hodson, R. (2010). “Work Group Effort and Rewards: The Roles of Organizational and Social Power as Context”.Organization Studies, 31, pp. 895-916.
Marchington, M. and Grugulis, I.(2000).‘“Best practice” human resource management: Perfect opportunity or dangerous illusion?”. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 11/6,pp.1104–1124.
Mueller, F. (1994) ‘Teams between hierarchy and commitment: Change strategies andthe “internal environment”’. Journal of Management Studies, 31/3, pp. 383–404.
Reagans, R., Zuckerman, E., and McEvily, B.(2004). ‘How to make a team: Social networks vs. demography as criteria for designing effective teams’. Administrative Science Quarterly, 49, pp. 101–133