Managing Adaptive Performance in Teams: Guiding principles & Behavioral Markers for Measurement

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Team performance management, Team performance measurement, Team adaptation

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Various types of organizations must manage rapidly changing operational contexts. To respond to these demands, organizations are relying more heavily on team-based work arrangements. Effectively managing such performance requires a systematic, broad approach to measuring team effectiveness that is comprehensive and sound, yet unobtrusive. One aspect of teamwork that is critical to success in these types of environments is adaptation. Teams must be able to react quickly and accurate to the changing environment. To effectively manage adaptive team performance in such contexts, there is a need to better understand team adaptation as well as to generate better team performance measurement systems. To this end, a review and synthesis of the empirical, theoretical, and methodological literatures concerning team adaptation, performance, and measurement is conducted to develop theoretically-based principles to guide development of effective team adaptation measurement systems as well as to inform future research. We propose six guiding principles that capture core features of team adaptation and serve as an aid in the development of team performance measurement systems. These principles are rooted in recent theoretical work on team adaptation and are presented at a level of abstraction suitable for generalization across performance measurement contexts and purposes. Behavioral markers describing processes associated with each principle and example measurement strategies are presented to illustrate development of specific measurement tools and metrics, based on the principles. The principles and behavioral markers presented can guide development of measurement systems to assess, train, and improve team adaptation, a core capacity of effective organizations. Future research needs to expand upon the principles advanced here to provide theoretically grounded and methodologically rigorous tools to help performance management professionals develop adaptive team capacities.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Human Resource Management Review, v. 21, issue 2, p. 107-122