Constructing the Team: Inter-Member Compositional Disagreement and its Effects on Team Dynamics and Performance

55 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2009 Last revised: 5 Dec 2010

Mark Mortensen

INSEAD - Organisational Behaviour

Date Written: September 1, 2010

Abstract

The organizational team is ubiquitous and membership therein has far-reaching effects on cognition, dynamics, processes, and performance. Typically considered straightforward and unambiguous, in this study I suggest that team members’ models of team membership are socially-constructed and – due to organizations’ reliance on short-term, fluid, and partially overlapping teams – increasingly disagreed upon. In a study of 38 formally-defined software and product development teams, I identify structural and emergent drivers of inter-member “compositional disagreement” and its effects on team dynamics and outcomes. I compare the effects of inter-member and member-manager compositional disagreement and discuss the implications of compositional disagreement for theory, methods and management practice.

Keywords: Teams, membership, composition, perception, disagreement, project-based work

Suggested Citation

Mortensen, Mark, Constructing the Team: Inter-Member Compositional Disagreement and its Effects on Team Dynamics and Performance (September 1, 2010). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4688-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1096160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1096160

Mark Mortensen (Contact Author)

INSEAD - Organisational Behaviour ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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