Functional Team Effectiveness Theory

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Most of the team effectiveness theories recognize the crucial role of leadership within a team. In fact, team leadership represents a fundamental characteristic of effective team performance (Zaccaro, Rittman, & Marks, 2001). For this reason, “team leadership as a discipline appears to be on the cusp of some truly significant breakthroughs” (Day, Gronn, & Salas, 2006: 2011). As the relevance of leadership is undeniable it seems comprehensible the innumerous researches around this theme. According to Yukl, (2012) “the essence of leadership in organizations is influencing and facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives” (p.66). Despite the emergence of several leadership theories throughout time, there is still…show more content…
Back in 1962, McGrath suggested that the role of the leader in functional leadership is “to do or get done, whatever is not being adequately handled for group needs” (p.5). Zaccaro et al., (2001) also brought insightful inputs to this theory, presenting why functional leadership differentiates among other studies. The authors suggest that functional leadership presupposes a tautological relationship, saying that “if the group is successful, then the leader can be defined as effective” (Zaccaro et al., 2001:454). Nevertheless, it is relevant to reinforce that team effectiveness is not entirely explained by team leadership. This being said, one can say that the pivotal assertion of functional leadership theory is that team conditions imply certain decisive leadership behaviours for success (Zaccaro et al., 2001). By saying that “leadership processes influence team effectiveness by their effects on four sets of team processes: cognitive, motivational, effective, and coordination” (Zaccaro et al., 2001:453), these researchers helped to break ground for processes calibration within the functional…show more content…
To better understand how to satisfy these needs, Morgeson et al., (2010) developed a framework of leadership functions and they also illustrated the specific behaviours for each function. This taxonomy is divided into transition and action phases, having seven functions associated with the first phase and eight functions in the second phase. Functions in the transition phases include (1) compose team; (2) define mission; (3) establish expectations and goals; (4) structure and plan; (5) train and develop a team; (6) sensemaking; (7) provide feedback. For the action phase, functions are (1) monitor team; (2) manage team boundaries; (3) challenge team; (4) perform team task; (5) solve problems; (6) provide resources; (7) encourage team self-management; (8) support social climate. Although the taxonomy provided by Morgeson et al., (2010) is very detailed and complete, in the present research these functions were analyzed on a macro level, considering only transition phase and action phase as the two main variables regarding functional leadership. Besides of the relevant insights that the authors brought to functional leadership theory, one of the most important tools they provided was the Team Leadership questionnaire which came a useful and
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