Date of Original Version

2005

Type

Article

Abstract or Description

Most research examining the influence of coordination on team performance has not distinguished between coordinating (the processes by which teams attempt to manage interdependencies among individuals) and the resultant state of coordination (the degree to which interdependencies are managed well). Similarly, most research has not distinguished between the state of coordination and the performance outcomes that are often influenced by coordination. We demonstrate the usefulness of these distinctions in a study of 50 teams engaged in a realistic 14-week management simulation. Results using a panel design show that two processes for coordinating (use of shared cognition about the distribution of expertise within the team, and working together for a longer time period) improved coordination. Shared cognition seemed to compensate for low levels of communication and lack of working together. The resulting coordination, in turn, directly influenced teams’ financial performance and external evaluations. All effects of the coordination processes, however, were indirect, and operated by helping the teams achieve a more coordinated state.

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