Adaptation of teams in response to unforeseen change: Effects of goal difficulty and team composition in terms of cognitive ability and goal orientation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations

Abstract

Halfway through a 3-hour experiment in which 64 3-person teams needed to make a series of decisions, a communications channel began to deteriorate, and teams needed to adapt their system of roles in order to perform effectively. Consistent with previous research, team composition with respect to members' cognitive ability was positively associated with adaptation. Adaptation was also influenced by interactions of team goal difficulty and team composition with respect to team members' goal orientation. Teams with difficult goals and staffed with high-performance orientation members were especially unlikely to adapt. Teams with difficult goals and staffed with high-learning orientation members were especially likely to adapt. Supplemental analyses provided insight into the observed effects in that the difficulty of team goals and members' goal orientation predicted interpersonal, transition, and action processes, all of which predicted team adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1167
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Cognitive ability
  • Goal orientation
  • Goal setting
  • Team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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