Team Effectiveness – Formula

Team Effectiveness

In our article titled A Multiteam System (MTS) Effectiveness Model, we highlighted the components that make up team effectiveness for an individual team followed by synthesizing the characteristics that make up team effectiveness for multiteam systems. We also presented our team effectiveness formulas for an individual team and for a multiteam system. This post will discuss team effectiveness as it applies to an individual team.

First, it needs to be mentioned that team effectiveness DOES NOT equate to team performance. These are two separate concepts that are often confused as being synonymous. They are different.

The basic components of team effectiveness consist of four essential items: teamwork, taskwork, performance, and customer value. The figure below showcases these basic components.

(Turner et al., 2020, p. 8, Figure 1)

Teamwork relates to the interactions between team members consisting of three states: effective/attitudes, behavioral/motivational, and cognitions (Dihn & Salas, 2017; Kozlowski & Ilgen, 2006; Mathieu, Marks, & Zaccaro, 2001). Teamwork involves the “shared behaviors, attitudes, and cognitions” (Dihn & Salas, 2017, p. 16) associated with completing a team’s goal or task(s). While teamwork identifies the interpersonal characteristics of team members during their interactions, taskwork focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for teams to complete their tasks.

Team performance is closely related to a team’s output and is often measured by using some measure of quantity, quality, time, or some combination of these measures. The last component of team effectiveness relates to the customer. Was value delivered to the customer? Was the final product/service what the customer expected?

The customer should be clearly defined as “anyone outside of the team that has a value stake in the team’s functioning (Mathieu, Gallagher, Domingo, & Klock, 2019, p. 20).

In addition to the customer receiving the product or service, customer value also relates to individual team member experiences. Team members are an internal customer of the process/organization.

In its most basic form, team effectiveness can be represented by the following formula:

TE = TW + TK + PF + CV

TE – team effectiveness

TW – teamwork

TK – taskwork

PF – performance

CV – customer value

Accounting for a team’s temporal functions, Marks, Mathieu, and Zaccaro (2001) presented a temporal taxonomy of team processes. In general, teams have different functional processes during different stages of the team’s task:

Teams use different processes simultaneously and over performance episodes in order to multitask effectively. Some processes transpire more frequently in action phases and others in transition periods (Marks et al., 2001, p. 362).

This taxonomy identifies three temporal processes: transition phase processes (TP), action phase processes (AP), and interpersonal phase processes (IP). Transition phase processes relate toward the beginning phases when a team is forming, becoming organized, and getting started. Activities during the transition phase processes include mission analysis, formulation and planning, goal specification, and strategy formation (Marks et al., 2001). Action phase processes are those taken once the team is organized and completing the team’s tasks. Activities during this phase include monitoring and feedback activities as well as team members supporting other team members and coordination of activities. Interpersonal processes occur throughout the team’s tenure and involve activities such as conflict and effect management, and motivational techniques (Marks et al., 2001).

When you account for the temporal processes identified in Marks et al.’s (2001) taxonomy, the basic team effectiveness formula expands into the following comprehensive team effectiveness formula:

TE = (TW + IP) + TK (TP + AP) + PF + CV

Team effectiveness is a product of teamwork (teamwork, TW; interpersonal processes, IP), taskwork (transition phase processes, TP; action phase processes, AP), performance (PF) and customer value (CV).

(TW + IP)
Performan ce
Team compositionOrientationQualityFeedback
Goal commitmentTimingTimeExceeds
Satisfaction of
team members
Psychological safetyMotivation
Cognition conflictMission analysis
Process conflictGoal specification
Status conflictStrategy
and planning
Task conflictDeliberate
CoordinationContingent planning
ExplicitReactive strategy
ImplicitAction Phase
toward goals
CoachingSystems monitoring
CognitionInternal systems monitoring
Shared cognitionEnvironmental monitoring
Transactive memory
Team monitoring and backup responses
Shared mental memoryCoordination activities
Leadership structure
Phase Processes
Conflict Management
Preemptive conflict
Reactive conflict
Affect management
(Turner et al., 2020, p. 9, Table 1)

Sources: (Behfar et al., 2010; Devine, 2002; Dihn & Salas, 2017; Edmondson, 1999, 2019; Forsyth, 2014; Greer & Dannals, 2017; Hackman, 2011; Jehn & Chatman, 2000; Lewis, 2003; Lim & Klein, 2006; Marks et al., 2001; Mathieu et al., 2005, 2008, 2019; Mayer et al., 1995; Rico et al., 2008; Turner, 2016; Weaver et al., 2013; Yasmi et al., 2006)


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