Team Effectiveness


If the Ringelmann Effect and other variables affect team productivity, organizations need to find ways to increase team effectiveness. Collins (2012) identified the following attributes of highly effective teams:

  1. Member interdependence 
  2. Trust among members
  3. Member motivation
  4. Member satisfaction
  5. Leadership rotation
  6. Cohesion  
  7. Skill diversity
  8. Role alignment
  9. Group dynamics

Factors for Team Effectiveness

She further observes that teams operate within a context, with factors like nature of task, team size and composition impacting team performance. Robbins and Judge (2013) analyze team effectiveness within a model with three variables, viz:

  1. Context e.g., structure, leadership, trust, performance evaluation, rewards etc.
  2. Composition e.g., abilities, personalities, roles, diversity, size, preferences etc.
  3. Process e.g., purpose and goals, efficacy, conflict, communication, social loafing, norming etc.

Barriers to Teamwork

            Managers need not only identify factors that promote performance, they also need to identify and eliminate barriers to effective teamwork. Barriers to teamwork are in the above cited team effectiveness model variables but manifesting as negatives. Collins (2012) cites them as lack of collaboration, lack of management support, absence of delegated authority, lack of team motivation, unclear or conflicting goals, frustration, dysfunctional member behaviors, and poor structures. For example, a wheel network communication channel poses a barrier to team needs of robust communication. Thus, organizational structural attributes can pose barriers to team if not aligned to team strategy. Team strategy requires structural configuration, contextual alignment, team composition and team processes compatibility with team strategy otherwise these elements pose barriers to effective teamwork.

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