Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Program/Concentration

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Albert S. Glickman

Committee Member

Raymond H. Kirby

Committee Member

Robert M. McIntyre

Committee Member

Seth Zimmer

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to determine if training workshops of short duration (one-to-three hours) could contribute to enhanced teamwork and hence improved team performance for teams at the primary level (first production level) of a natural gas service and installation organization.

The teamwork characteristic of back-up behaviors (i.e., actions to help other team members that require adaption or anticipation and improve team performance by contributing to successful task completion) was the focus of workshop activities. Other strategies were employed to enhance the process such as team-building, goal setting and feedback. Feedback consisted of posting back-up behavior scores (i.e., proportion of "occurred" to "could-have-occurred") and sharing that information with individual team members.

Three teams were subjected to each of four experimental conditions: (1) TBP: three-hour team-building workshop, goal setting for attainment of back-up behaviors and posting; (2) TB: three-hour team-building workshop and goal setting for attainment of back-up behaviors; (3) P: one-hour discussion of back-up behaviors and posting; and (4) C: control participants.

Dependent variables included team member responses to the Teamwork Checklist (Varney, 1989, which addressed teamwork characteristics of leadership, process, interpersonal relationships, and task), supervisor responses to the Performance Indicator (Varney, 1990, which measured team performance and quality), and observations of the occurrence of back-up behaviors on the job.

Results indicate that short duration workshops which focus on back-up behaviors and utilize either goal setting or feedback promote acquisition of targeted behaviors as well as improve team performance even though there is a lack of improvement in other teamwork characteristics. Although not predicted, the one-hour workshop which focused on back-up behaviors and utilized the posting strategy yielded the most marked improvement in overall team performance.

Practical implications are that team performance can be enhanced by identifying and targeting back-up behaviors in short duration activities but follow-up team-building may be required to enhance other teamwork elements. Data from this research were contributed to a national multi-site research endeavor on teamwork characteristics and a training protocol was suggested for use in similar organizations.

DOI

10.25777/dr7j-7q54

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