Teamwork quality and the success of innovative projects: A theoretical concept and empirical evidence
The article indicates the importance of teamwork to the success of innovative projects.
This article develops a comprehensive concept of the collaboration in teams, known as the Teamwork Quality (TWQ). TWQ is constructed based on the six facets, namely communication, coordination, balance of member contributions, mutual support, effort, and cohesion.
TWQ is positively related to the success of innovative projects.
The diagram below shows the positive relationship between TWQ and the two categories of project success – the Team Performance and Personal success of team members.
Two hypotheses to examine the relationship between TWQ and project success include:
HYPOTHESIS 1. TWQ is positively related to the performance of teams with innovative projects.
HYPOTHESIS 2. TWQ is positively related to the personal success of team members.
These hypotheses are tested using the data from 575 team members, team leaders, and managers of 145 German software teams. The results of the structural equation models estimated show that TWQ (as rated by team members) is significantly associated with team performance as rated by team members, team leaders, and team managers.
Teamwork Quality and the Success of Innovative Projects
Intesting our hypotheses we have estimated three structural equation models based on the three different project success ratings:
1) Model 1: TWQ (evaluated by team members) predicts team members’ self-evaluation of team performance and personal success.
2) Model 2: TWQ (evaluated by team members) predicts team leaders’ evaluations of team performance.
3) Model 3: TWQ (evaluated by team members) predicts managers’ evaluations of team performance.
The table below shows the result of the test:
The results of the three models estimated to provide support to Hypothesis 1, proposing a positive influence of TWQ on team performance. The path coefficients from TWQ to team performance are significant on the 1 % level in all three models.
However, there are considerable differences in the magnitude of the relationship between TWQ and team performance as rated by the team members versus team leaders and managers. TWQ explains about 41% of the variance in team performance as rated by the team members, 11 % as rated by the team leaders, and 7% as rated by the managers. These differences may be due to the different viewpoints among managers, team leaders, and team members on team performance.
For instance, the result for Model 1 may be influenced by common source bias, given that both TWQ and the project success constructs are based on team member data. In contrast, manager evaluations of team performance are much less likely to be influenced by implicit theories, given their limited knowledge of the collaborative task processes of individual teams. On the other hand, the results of Models 2 and 3 are not subject to common source bias, as team leaders” and managers” evaluations of team performance are predicted by team members’ evaluations of TWQ.
While recognizing the differences in the extent of the relationships given the different performance evaluations, Hypothesis 1 is supported because TWQ is significantly associated with all ratings of team performance.
On the other hand, hypothesis 2 is strongly supported by the results of Model 1. TWQ shows a very strong association with team members’ personal success (standard coefficient 0.93, 87% variance explained). The results indicate that the quality of collaboration in a team determines the contentment of team members with their work situation to a large degree. In addition, high TWQ fosters learning on the part of the team members, which accommodates the desire for personal and professional growth of the generally highly educated workforce of software development laboratories.
The test results have shown that high TWQ can lead to the success of innovative projects. Do you agree with this? Besides TWQ, what are the other criteria do you think will lead to the success of innovative projects?
Hoegl, M., and Gemuenden, H.G. (2001). Teamwork quality and the success of innovative projects: A theoretical concept and empirical evidence. Organization Science 12(4): 435-449