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n South African Journal of Business Management - An enhanced conceptualisation of management teams : adaptive, self-adjusting teams that interact at multiple levels of analysis

Volume 44, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2078-5585

Abstract

This article highlights two themes that emerged from an in-depth multiple-case study of management teams in South African corporations that deserve closer attention in future research. First, it is shown that team composition is not static and changes adaptively in response to changing task demands. Hence, team characteristics such as maturity, or team member characteristics, including skills and competencies, need to be understood and modelled as variable rather than constant. To date, this has not been the case in the management team literature. Second, the findings highlight the prevalence and importance of within-team dynamics with particular reference to sub-group interaction. It is shown that spontaneous, informal sub-group formation is a common and constructive feature of management team functioning. This calls for a reconceptualisation of management teams to acknowledge that they are not indivisible units of analysis. Yet the very essence of the notion of a team, as consistently defined in the management literature, need not be violated or invalidated. The defining attributes of teams, including a common purpose, task interdependence among members and a shared identity may remain intact. What needs to change is our theorising about management teams, to take due cognisance of their dynamic, adaptive, self-regulating functioning in business organisations.

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/content/busman/44/4/EJC146686
2013-12-01
2019-08-24

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