High Performance Teams: Do Perceptions and Reality Match?

High Performance Teams: Do Perceptions and Reality Match?

Caroline Dominguez (School of Science and Technology, Department of Engineering and CETRAD (Center of Transdisciplinary Studies for Development), University of Trás-os-Montes, Vila Real, Portugal), Isabel C. Moura (Department of Information Systems and Algoritmi Research Center, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal) and João Varajão (Department of Information Systems and Algoritmi Research Center, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITPM.2016040105
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Abstract

Effective team management is one of the key factors that allow companies to tackle the challenges of today's demanding business environment. Although high-performing teams have been studied for some time, very little has been written on them from the construction industry's perspective. Based on the conclusions of previous work and on a project involving 44 professionals of seven teams, this exploratory case study intends to evaluate if there is a gap between what team members and leaders perceive as being (a) the most important features for managing teams into high performance and (b) the features that are present in their teams. The present study shows that, although teams under investigation had some high-performing features at the leadership dimension, there is room for improvement, in particular when it comes to empowering team members, involving them in planning the work, and creating proper reward systems.
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Literature Review: Teams And Performance

Several authors (e.g. Bragg, 1999; Ferreira, 2007) agree on a team being a small group of people (two or more persons) whose members: (a) interact socially (Mealiea & Baltazar, 2005); (b) are brought together to perform relevant tasks embedded in an organizational context; (c) have complementary skills and different roles and responsibilities (Kozlowski & Ilgen, 2006); and (d) are committed to a general purpose and goals to reach it, with both purpose and goals being settled by team members, by team members and their leader, or by the team leader (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Plus, a team is also characterized by its own: (a) direction, momentum, and commitment (e.g., pulling together in the same direction to achieve something); (b) common approach (e.g., particular organizational and motivation methods); and (c) mutual accountability (e.g., with each team member being accountable for his or her actions, as these add to the team as a whole) (Moura et al., 2014).

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