Team Process Models

The field of team science has concentrated on two primary process models: Input-Process-Outcome (IPO) and Input-Mediator-Ourput-Input (IMOI; Mathieu et al., 2008). In our recent article titled Team Emergence Leadership Development and Evaluation: A Theoretical Model Using Complexity Theory (Turner & Baker, 2017), we presented our process model from the perspective of complexity theory that included the construct of emergence (see figure below). In this process model we identified the Input-Process-Emergence-Output model presenting that emergence occurs from the interactions that take place within the processes. In the Turner and Baker (2017) model emergence is a separate entity from process, indicating that the processes, and the internal interactions, are inputs to emergence and that they are two separate components to the overall team process model.


*From Turner and Baker (2017, p. 6).

Just recently, Magpili and Pazos (2017) presented a team process model that included both process and emergence as being the same, and possibly acting as a mediator. Magpili and Pazos (2017) briefly described this framework (model) in the following manner: “This framework categorizes inputs into three nested levels that are linked to the team outcomes through team processes and emergent states” (p. 4). They stated that their framework was adapted from Mathieu et al. (2008).

To accommodate the three levels of inputs presented in the Magpili and Pazos (2017) model, we could expand the IPEO model (Turner & Baker, 2017) to identify the current two levels of inputs, individual an team, and place the IPEO model in the organization as the third level.

These similar, but contrasting, team process models are growing and expanding to represent the multilevel nature of teams and small groups as well as reflect new and emerging theories such as complexity theory. Future research studies could synthesize these, and other team process models, to identify key characteristics for team processes. Also, a composite team process model could be developed from this synthesis.


Magpili, N. C., & Pazos, P. (2017). Self-managing team performance: A systematic review of multilevel input factors. Small Group Research. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1177/1046496417710500

Mathieu, J., Maynard, T. M., Rapp, T., & Gilson, L. (2008). Team effectiveness 1997-2007: A review of recent advancements and a glimpse into the future. Journal of Management, 34, 410-476. doi:10.1177/0149206308316061

Turner, J. R., & Baker, R. (2017). Team emergence leadership development and evaluation: A theoretical model using complexity theory. Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, 16(2), 17 pages. doi:10.1142/S0219649217500125

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