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Small, Short Duration Technical Team Dynamics

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Final rept.

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How to build effective teams is one of the most significant management questions of the day. Small, short duration technical teams drive critically important decision-making processes in a broad range of organizations in all sectors of the economy. Thus, gaining a better understanding of how small, short duration technical teams develop is of critical importance to contemporary managers. It was the intent of this study to develop empirical evidence to determine whether or not the Tuckman model or some variant thereof provides an appropriate model to explain the development of small, short duration technical teams. This research has discovered a new general model of team dynamics called the Defense Acquisition University DAU model that applies to technical teams. It is a variant of the Tuckman model with a new twist that better fits the data. A technical team is defined as a group of individuals with specific expertise who are assembled to complete a task, which results in a product. This research demonstrates that not only do technical teams generally follow the DAU model but that teams following the DAU model produce better products than teams that do not follow this model. It may, therefore, be possible to significantly improve productivity in technical teams by facilitating the DAU model that is, to encourage teams to first coalesce as a team and form their intent and structure then develop their approach, ground rules, and processes to be followed by assigning sub-tasks and getting the work done all the while cooperatively challenging, re-evaluating, and improving the overall team process as they work together to accomplish the task they were given.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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