This essay explores ultimate team performance as experienced by veteran airline pilots working together with a common purpose. The research ellicited the subjective experiences of five individual team members, employing a structured interview method to gather data for phenomenological analysis. Results offer a better understanding of what makes a high-performing team, the team experience itself, the context, and the meaning of ultimate team performance as lived experience. The research offers subjective descriptions of social interaction between self and other in a virtual/nonvirtual team context, offering a window into the collaborative experience; the self-other relationship; how individuals navigate their lifeworld within a team setting; and the applicability of the pilots’ experience processes across other organizational domains.
Themes from this study can be thought of in three broad categories, factors that impact team performance: Individual Member Factors, Team Collaboration, and Organizational factors. Individual Member Factors include a strong sense of self, relationships with other team members, and individual technical expertise. Team Collaboration Factors include: problem solving processes, mistakes, conflict, team leadership, overt and covert cuing, and the work itself. The Organizational Factors include: team chartering and sponsorship, rewards and recognition, and environment.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Trust: Trust is an individual and team belief that individual team members and the organization will do what they say they will do in a quality manner.
Cuing: Cuing is prompting between team members. It can be overt with visual and auditory signals
Collaboration: Collaboration is the process of working together where team members cooperate and contribute both to a quality output and a quality team process.
Charter: A charter is the contract or agreement that team members have that defines their expectations and the team expected outcome.
Purpose: The team purpose is its mission and reason for being assembled. It is set of expectations about outcomes and team process.
Team: A team is a group of people brought together to complete a task or purpose.
Virtual Team: A virtual team is one whose members are not in the same geographic area, requiring accessibility through virtual means such as email, telephone, and video conferencing
Colocated Team: A colocated team is one whose members are in the same geographic area, easily accessible face-to-face
Sponsor: The team sponsor is the person or persons responsible for initiating the team by legitimizing need, suggesting membership and defining the team purpose and expected outcomes