Turning the Team Around: The Importance of Team Reflexivity Following Poor Performance
Proceedings of the Sixty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
31 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2009 Last revised: 16 Dec 2009
Date Written: August 18, 2009
A small but growing body of literature adds to our understanding of performance spirals in teams. Initial performance is often highly predictive of later performance, which has the unfortunate implication that teams that initially perform poorly may experience great difficulties in improving their performance. We propose that teams that initially perform poorly can break the chain of poor performance when they engage in a process of team reflexivity (i.e., reflect upon their functioning), and that poorly performing teams benefit more from reflexivity than better performing teams. In a longitudinal study (N = 73 teams), we found support for this idea. As predicted, results further indicated that this interaction between initial team performance and team reflexivity was mediated by team learning. We outline how these findings are important for our understanding of team performance spirals as well as for the further development of team reflexivity theory.
Keywords: Team reflexivity, team learning, team performance
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