Literature Review

Literature Review


Literature Review

            Teamwork is a highly valued aspect in the human resource of any organization. This is because of its ability to increase the performance of an organizations workforce (Rouse, 2005). There has been evidence of a positive correlation between teamwork and increase in productivity of an organization. This is because a highly motivated team of employees is capable of effectively solving problems while at the same time coming up with creative and innovative ideas that can benefit an organization (West, 2012). In this research, the types of models used in building teamwork in organizations are examined. It is hypothesized that with the current trends in business and the constantly changing business environment, the models used in team building exercise should be revised. There has been a great deal of previous research devoted to examine this area of interest.

            In a research by Sims, Salas and Burke (2003), a model labeled the “Big Five” model was proposed to address the competencies required of successful teams in an organization. Starting from the accumulated research related to team functioning, they propose five core competencies that together integrate existing research in providing a model of teamwork. They also proposed three mechanisms for coordination. The competencies were mutual performance monitoring, back-up behavior, adaptability, team orientation and team leadership. On the other hand, the three mechanisms were the shared mental model, the closed-loop communication and mutual trust.  

            In another research conducted by Hahn, Harris and Klein (2003), the models used in building teamwork in organizations were examined. This research was part of a research sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory. The research was interested in how top ranking military units from different nations worked together towards achieving common goals. It was observed that as personnel from different nations worked together, problems related to the competencies and mechanisms models arose. In addition, interviews and questionnaires were used to identify and understand the dynamics of the cross-cultural problems that were contributing to these problems. This research was supplemented by the research carried out by Swezey, Llaneras and Salas (1992).

            Lastly, another research by Lannon, Klein and Timian (2001) also explored this area of interest. It addressed the need to incorporate national differences into any organizational simulation that is intended for use with non-Western cultures. The military decision process between Western and non-Western countries was used to elaborate this claim. This research discovered that the decision-making and leadership qualities in the two types of countries were different. For instance, it was discovered that the Iraqi military decision process did not share the leadership and decision-making qualities of the British military system like power distance and hypothetical reasoning. This research proposed that the interaction model was a preferred approach because it proposed better decision-making and leadership skills.  

            In conclusion, research conducted by Hahn, Harris and Klein (2003) tends to disagree with the findings of the research conducted by Sims, Salas and Burke (2003). Hahn et al. (2003) seek to prove that “Big Five” model is ineffective. Despite those minor disagreements, all the researchers seem to agree that there is need for teamwork in any organization that aims to grow and develop. However, their research leaves a gap in this field of interest because they do not address the need for revising the models that are used in team building exercises (West, 2012). This is why my research is relevant to the development of the human resources of any organization that seeks to increase the performance its workforce.  


Hahn, B. B., Harris, D. S., & Klein, H. A. (2003). Exploring the impact of cultural differences on multinational operations (Final Report under Prime Contract#DAAD19-01-C-0065, Subcontract No. 8005.004.02 for U. S. Army ResearchLaboratory). Fairborn, OH: Klein Associates Inc.

Lannon, G., Klein, H. A., & Timian, D. (2001). Conceptual modeling of foreign command decision processes. (Technical Report completed for The DefenseModeling and Simulation Office under Control #61339-01-P-0138 to SterlingSoftware). Fairborn, OH: Wright State University.

Rouse, W. B. (2005). Organizational Simulation. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Sims, D. E., Salas, E., & Burke, C. S. (2003). Is there a “Big Five” in Teamwork? Paper to be presented at the 19th Annual meeting of the Sock for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. University of Central Florida.

Swezey, R. W., Llaneras, R. E., & Salas, E. (1992). Ensuring teamwork: Achecklist for use in designing team-training programs. Performance & Instruction.

West, M. A. (2012). Effective teamwork: Practical lessons from organizational research. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

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