Teamwork is a daily working mode which brings a lot on a personal and professional level. However, many forget the complexity of working in a team.
Working in a team can become really complex due to the interaction of many different people, in terms of age, gender, culture, personality, ... All team processes are influenced by three different factors:
● The organizational context:
- Internal: HR, procedures, hierarchy, resources, communication network …
- External: sociocultural influence, economic market, legal regulations, technology …
● The team context: leadership style and team structure
● The members : social network, personality and experiences
It is valuable for employees to have an idea about how their performance, satisfaction and innovativeness for a task are influenced by different inputs linked to the team. CEO’s and managers must be aware of the scientific results of the factors influencing the performance of teamwork, to improve employees’ well-being and team efficiency.
Understanding what the IMOI Model is
Mc Grath (1964) developed the first IPO ‘Input-Process-Output’ model on team processes, which is now called IMOI (Input-Mediators/Processes-Output-input) for its cyclical performance episode. Each team experience will influence the next one because both the team and its members grow during team processes. Thus, the team evolves within cycles which are also called performance episodes.
Team processes can be defined as “members' interdependent acts that convert inputs to outcomes through cognitive, verbal, and behavioral activities directed toward organizing taskwork to achieve collective goals.” (Marks, Mathieu & Zaccaro, 2001, p.357). Here are different processes in which teams are involved:
By knowing that some affective and cognitive behaviors are developed within a team, managers can better understand them.Besides being influenced by different kinds of inputs, the team members also develop emergent states which evolve within the team. Nowadays, researchers focus on team trust, shared cognition and cohesion. You may be familiar with team trust and cohesion but what about shared cognition? Have you ever experienced polychronicity? It is a form of shared cognition when all team members feel the desire to accomplish a task at the same moment. In fact, shared cognition is a collaborative process with a common vision and interpretation of information.
Some interesting results
● The less financial resources available, the more effectual the strategic orientation will be. This means that the team will focus on the means they have and not on the results or predefined objectives
● The less hierarchic distance there is in the organization, the more satisfied team members will be
● Formal planning leads to higher team performance
Team and members Context
● Three is the optimal number to have an efficient team. Above, it leads to underperformance (Shirvastava et Tamvada,2011)
● Heterogeneity and diversity implies a better team performance and information sharing
● Coleadership, relational leadership and organizational leadership lead to improve members satisfaction and efficiency in multicultural teams (Genest, 2007)