Development and Test of a Theory of Work Team Productivity
Final rept. Jun 1998-Jun 2000
DELAWARE UNIV NEWARK DEPT OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
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As noted in A Theory of Behavior in Organizations , by J.C. Naylor, R.D. Pritchard, and D.R. Ilgens 1980, we extend their theory of behavior in organizations to explain work team productivity, and test it using time-series analysis on data from a large-scale study of teams. Priority scores for 37 indicators of productivity across five work teams over 23 months were used to predict month-by-month changes in productivity for each of the 37 team products. The results show that team productivity improvements can be explained by feedback including priority scores derived from nonlinear contingency functions of the product indicators. Furthermore, teams which initially performed more poorly benefited the most from the priority score feedback. Goal setting positively affected productivity gain and did so consistently across work teams, after the effects of priority feedback and the interaction of work team with priority feedback were controlled. Implications for team performance strategies are discussed.
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