Team Adaptation to Structural Misalignment: Determinants of Alternative Change Mechanisms
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV EAST LANSING
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Structural Contingency Theory holds that teams perform best when their structure is aligned with their environment Hollenbeck et al., 2002. Yet when teams perform poorly due to structural misalignment, they may focus on making changes to their personnel or processes rather than to their structure. This experiment examined whether teams decided to make changes in their structure, personnel, or processes when their structure was misaligned with their environment, and the impact of those decisions on their performance. Two interventions were tested 1 providing information to teams on the typology of possible changes, and 2 the feedback provided to the teams about their previous structural alignment. Results indicated that teams were most likely to choose to change their structure when 1 they were explicitly informed about the three possible types of changes, and 2 they were provided with feedback regarding their structural alignment. Teams that changed structure subsequently performed better than teams that did not change structure, and the decision to change structure mediated the relationship between the interventions and subsequent team performance. In contrast, a decision to change personnel did not improve performance, and a decision to change process actually worsened team performance.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Command, Control and Communications Systems