The Role of the Leader in Developing Team Norms, Affective Climate and Team Effectiveness

The Role of the Leader in Developing Team Norms, Affective Climate and Team Effectiveness

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1. Introduction
Over the past several years, business organizations have seen an increase in the use of teams and groups (Montoya-Weiss, Massey, & Song, 2001). Furthermore, many companies have implemented team-type incentive systems to increase production (Bunderson & Sutcliffe, 2003). Large companies are commonly divided into smaller departments that are managed by leaders in those fields. These team leaders are in charge of project management, organization and employee wellbeing. The latter, in particular, has become a major focus in team organizations. Not only does the individual’s emotional wellbeing influence their job satisfaction, it has also been shown to have an effect on other members in the team. The implication of this is that the team leader holds a role in shaping the team norm and affective climate of the workplace. This in turn, has a role in determining team effectiveness.

This study will investigate the role of the leader in developing team norms, affective climate and team effectiveness through interviewing a staff member in a managerial position at the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

2. Literature Review

In general, team effectiveness refers to the team’s ability to meet business demands and the ability to work together effectively in the future. Specifically, the effectiveness of a team is determined by its collaborative ability in conflict resolution, problem solving, communication, goal setting, and task coordination (Taggar & Ellis, 2007).

An effective team requires cohesion that is dependent on a combination of factors. Amongst these, a factor of particular importance is the emotional well being of the team and its members (Pirola-Merlo, Härtel, Mann, & Hirst, 2002). Extensive research has shown t...


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Pirola-Merlo, A., Härtel, C., Mann, L., & Hirst, G. (2002). How leaders influence the impact of affective events on team climate and performance in R&D teams. The Leadership Quarterly, 13(5), 561-581.

Taggar, S., & Ellis, R. (2007). The role of leaders in shaping formal team norms. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(2), 105-120.

Tse, H. H., Dasborough, M. T., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2008). A multi-level analysis of team climate and interpersonal exchange relationships at work. The Leadership Quarterly, 19(2), 195-211.

Weiss, H. M., & Cropanzano, R. (1996). Affective events theory: A theoretical discussion of the structure, causes and consequences of affective experiences at work.

West, M. A. (1990). The social psychology of innovation in groups.

Zaccaro, S. J., Rittman, A. L., & Marks, M. A. (2001). Team leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 12(4), 451-483.


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