Developing an effective team leadership strategy

Topics: Explain, discuss and critically evaluate the view that ‘without considering the key contingencies of organisation context, team support systems, and team type, Team Leaders will not have the information they need to develop an effective team leadership strategy


Mullins (1996) defines leadership as a relationship through which one person manipulates the behaviour of other people. Leaders can’t be able to define departmental, elements or organizational missions, or formulate a plan that works within a definitely organizational context, but they also have to coordinate the activities of others, assembling support, guiding subordinates and motivate them to get together what a mission requires. However, a leader has an influence on both members; team member’s attitudes and working situations at the same time. Garner (1998) directly commented in the journal of team building and organizational effectiveness as “wearing the same shirt does not make a team”.

For example if a team is not provided with the resources that they would needs to do its job, it is very less likely that team members would go out of their way to make sure the team success. On the other hand simply if the team is not provided with the means to do its job, it is not possibly to display behaviours that are higher than and beyond the basic explanation of the team members. However, it seems that if a team is given sufficient resources, support, training, dividing with different team types and contingent of organizational context factors it is more likely that would both want their team succeed and be more capable to helping their team effectiveness. Therefore, perceive team support, team type, and organizational context is the extended for a leader which teams are more capable and ultimately more likely the display of effectiveness of team and information they needs to. The question is how such true that the statement team leadership effectiveness only depends or without making an allowance for contextual factors, organizational support systems, and team type a team leader can’t develop team leadership strategy? Because there are some confusion such as if the team is successful, then the leader can be define as effective or, any action by the leader is effective if the team succeeds?

However, it is aim this report to identify, explain and brief discuss on the based on statement as for developing effective team leadership strategy a team leader must have consider key contingencies of organizational context, team type and team support system; and also intension to scrutinize this statement weather a team leader really needs to consider only selected key contingencies to develop an effective team leadership strategy or other extended activity has to consider as well.

Team Leadership:

Hackman and Wageman (2005) defined team leadership as “if a leader manages, by whatever means, to ensure that all functions critical to both task accomplishment and group maintenance are adequately taken care of then the leader has done his or her job well”. Basically, its suggest that the leaders main job to determine what needs the team is faced with then take care of them, and roles are then responsible for making the options that define following team response. However, team leaders can outcome relational dynamics among members in a number of behaviours such as, by structuring reward so that people win by work together rather than competing, by dominant when conflicts start to develop, by teaching team members how to manage such conflicts proactively themselves and during the norms they reproduce in their own behaviour, and also team leader can be chosen or elected and normally reports to an external manager who observes team and leaders effectiveness.

Team Effectiveness:

In essence, during the team actions members require to exchange information and resources, as well as continually observe the coordination of their attempts, team action and adjusting individual when coordination breaks down. Effective teams are those that are able to uphold high levels of communal performance, even as team and environmental situations become definitely unfavourable. Gladstein, (1984); Hackman, (1987); Sales et al., (1992) suggest that effective teams put together four fundamental processes: Cognitive, affective, coordination and motivational. Thus, effective team represent the identifications appropriate individual member input and a plan for the best way these contributions combined into an included team response, everyone on the team knew what the team was trying to achieve and how well he or she had to perform in order to achieve the team’s missions. The role of leader in effective team often took stock of their equipment, training facilities and opportunities and outside resources available to help the team. But the topics we have been holding based on A Team Leadership Model by Ginnett (2001), a leader has no information or way to develop an effective team without considering organizational context factors, team type and team support systems. (Original model developed by Hacman, (1990).

Team Leadership Model:

Team Leadership (Organizational Context and work team support system

Figure : A strategic contingency model of team leadership, Robert, C. Ginnett (2001)

Material Resources



Organizational Inputs/ Support

Reward System

Education System (Staffing, Training)

Information System (Measurement and Feedback)

Team Design/ Context Factors




Individual Inputs

Interests / Motivation

Skills / Abilities

Values / Attitudes

Interpersonal Behaviour

Process Criteria / Strategic Team Leader Behaviours





Group Dynamics

Outcome Acceptable to stakeholders

Future Capability of Team

Individual Satisfaction

Team Effectiveness

Types of Team

Organizational Context:

Organizational context factors include task design, autonomy, and input control (sundstrom et al., 1990). TASK design involves the level of which team’s activity and performance are impulsive, goal focusing, facilitating decision, structuring for result, multifaceted, established and simple, and dynamic versus simple. AUTONOMY is the measure which team leader manage by how their teams come within reach of work and INPUTE Control refers the make use of by their teams to achieve their tasks. Each of these contextual elements leads to helping their teams focus on one or all the team functions (effort, knowledge & skills, strategy and group dynamics). These four process measures of effectiveness provide criteria that can examine the ways in which team work. If a team is to perform effectively it must work hard enough (EFFORT), have sufficient knowledge and skills within the team to perform the task, have right strategy to accomplish its work (ways to approach the task at hand), and have positive and constructive group dynamics among its members (Group Dynamic refer to the way deal conflict, express feeling, and communicate each others among the team members). However, team leader must consider organizational context factors in make decision the best way to improve team effectiveness which depending on contextual elements (Effort, Knowledge & Skills, Strategy, and Group Dynamic). Regardless of whether organization context factors assist or hold block specific team function, current team support system will play an important position in team effectiveness (Sundstrom, 1999).

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Team Support System:

Organizational support system is a employee perceiving support from the organization for feel supported show better psychological well-being, higher job satisfaction and better performance has includes selection, measurement, information, training, and compensation; and services with communication technology that facilitates needed dealings within and among teams (sundstrom, et al 1999). The leader object is to design, apply, and maintain organizational support systems to get together the needs of the type of team, with give to accommodate each team’s necessities. However, for the team leader it is most important because technical and human resource systems can be adapted to promote the wellbeing of work groups, which currently exist within the organization, and also reasonable because what strategies to employee when needed is important support systems are not obtainable. Guzzo and Shea (1992) argue that group and organizational goals must the be ensure that technical and human resource support systems can be adapted to promote the welfare of work group and made to enhance team effectiveness. The four essential support systems necessary are Team Staffing (is an important support building block contributing to effectiveness because it make sure that team members holding up an apposite various blend of skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities), Team Training (is an support to increase team members additional knowledge, and skills which improve managing group dynamics, introduce team concept, combined for decision making, and effective goal setting itself), Measurement and Feedback (is a essential information, and also medium of provide tangible examples in order to which teams can take pride, and effectiveness. As Watson.1991 demonstrates that measurement and feedback is a essential tools for improving team effectiveness when given information and objective measures of their information), and Reward (is a tools for improve team effectiveness have a significant and beneficial influence in place are far more can be changed to recognize team accomplishment and equipped to support team efficiency but depends on their position within the organization; Toni L. Doolen et al 2006).

Leadership of Different Types of Teams:

The third contingency for effective team developing team leadership strategy is team leader must consider to types of team they guide. Understanding and identifying different types of work groups assists to team effectiveness in a variety of circumstances. Sundstrom et al (2000) differentiate six types of team in terms of the functions they execute.

Team Types


Action Teams

Consist of individual specialist and support staffs that carry out complex, time limited act events involving viewers, or challenging environment such as terrorist response units, surgery team.

Advisory Teams

Refer to different employees, from time to time from numerous levels within the organization, which work out problems and recommend solution such as quality circle and task forces.

Management Team

Is the team which executive or senior managers who organize work units, make policy, staffing, budgeting, and logistics. (such as senior leadership)

Production Team

Consist of front-line employees who frequently produce tangible product such as car assembly teams, paper mill work crews.

Project Team

Refer to members who are inclined to switch or come from different departments or units for example product development groups or strategy.

Service Team

Consist of employee who deal and transact with customers repeatedly and over episodes, for example marketing sales group, airline attending team.

Critical Analysis:

According to statement have been discussed with drawn appropriate model about the three key contingencies (organizational context, team support system, and team type) based on only information has to consider a team leader for developing effective team leadership strategy, it is seems like that there are some numerous lack of remaining items and unclear statements have not been discussed so far which might make happen developing only three key contingency not only activities for a team leader but also some extended items has to consider as well.

First of all the model or selected three contingencies has been represented by who came up with this idea (Hackman 1990) said if it were a machine and also said the model can be useful for understanding teams (Hackman 1990) and, in light of the relationship between teams and leadership, but we are now using it as an underlining structure in courses to help leaders more effectively lead their teams!. Its has been shown and discussed that, a leader can influence team effectiveness by a) assuring the team has a apparent sense of intension and performance anticipation; b) designing and redesigning input stage variables at the organizational, and team-developing level; and c) improving team performance through in progress coaching at various stages, but particularly while the team is really performing the task. These “Midcourse Corrections” should not only get better the team outcomes but also help to avoid many of the team-generated problems that can cause less-than-optimal team performance (Steiner, 1972).

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Furthermore if we see given three conditions for team effectiveness (context factors, support systems, team types) the leader play a lesser role because the leader’s job is to work on what is not being provided for the team in order for it to carry out its task (Hackman 1990). Thus, it seems like that the leader shifted to the followers and to the situation. Weather the leader gets the luxury of formation or is thrust into the leadership of an existing team, the statements has been shown and demonstrated that to be a useful contingent for guiding team members behaviours. Whereas it thus focused, it is a most effective tool (model) or three key contingencies if somebody believes that the leader’s job is to create the conditions for the team to be effective only!

If we see the characteristics of organizational context factors and there are several feedback loops in model which provides information to various levels of the organization. Typically, information is available to the organization as a whole (either formally or informally) about which teams are doing struggling, which teams are doing well. Weather leaders have access to this information is mainly a function of weather they have shaped or stifled as a secure climate. Feedback at the individual level can influence the apparent of the individual members of the team (Bandura, 1977; Lindsley, Brass & Thomas, 1995), while the generally potency of the team is impacted even for tasks that the team has yet endeavour (Guzzo, Yost, Campbell, & Shea, 1993).

It is helpful to point out the few remaining items portrayed in the model and given statement which have not been discussed. First of all, the three key contingencies in the model characterized and supported a team leader should consider Material Resources for rising team effectiveness. But, the model and given statement totally forgot it is Physical Requirement (Team Members Role), not an issue for the design or coaching of the team itself. Even if a team is well designed, has superior organizational supporting systems its work, and has approach to high quality ongoing development, without adequate physical resources it is not likely to do well on the output level.

At the organizational input the model and statement suggests that team leader should examine the reward system that may be impacting the team. If the individual have no prone provided by the organization for placing forth effort, they might not be tending to work very hard, or possibly not to work at all. Similarly, the reward system may be exclusively structured to reward individual performance. Such a reward systems would be irrelevant with designs for a team’s task where depending on each other and cooperating among members is often and underlining argument. For example, if a professional basketball organization give rewards for players basis on only individual points scored, with no bonuses for team effectiveness (games won or making the playoffs), can expect little passing , setting select for team-mates, and so on.

As we said according to model and statement both the individual and organizational level variables leads to team’s ability to carry out the task. But there are can also be problems at the team design level, an inadequately designed task can be assumed to be un-motivating as well! For example if a job is meaningless, lack of enough autonomy, or provides no knowledge of results, a leader would not expect to see followers putting forth much effort.

It would be simple if leaders could specify and identify in advance the ideal type of their teams and authority for themselves and then work toward that objective, because teams infrequently can operate efficiently under one fixed type of authority in a time. The leader might have preference to use his or her favourite style, and also followers might have an inherent desire for one type of authority or another; but if the team is to be effective, then the authority dynamics they are functioning with should balance the demands of the situation. However, authority dynamics and team types not only depend on the leaders and followers own choice rather then situational demands.

At the organizational support level variable would propose that the leader check organizational components to determine if there organizational control systems that restrain or overly structure the way in which the team can make control or decisions its own fate (Hackman, 1990 & Allan H. Church- 1998). Such issue may contain organizational structure or design limitations or it may be a inflexible computerized control systems that identifies every minute details of the tasks not only of teams as a whole but of all of the individuals arranging the team. However, this extreme control system that organizational level can slow down effective teamwork.

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In the team process level (after contextual factors and support systems) there are a condition said constructive group dynamics among the members which leads to team effectiveness (Robert, C. Ginnett, 2001). Question is how group dynamics could be in the middle of the team process while the team are towards to effectiveness? Though it has been pointed out there should be positive, but how does leader can be identify whether constructive or negative group dynamics when leader make happen it himself?

Following example could be clearer:

Surgical Team: a surgical team composed of very experienced members is occupied in a surgical procedure that each member has contributed in several times before. During one portion of the practice, the surgeon asks for a specific instrument. The scrub nurse looks crossways the table at the assistant with a questioning look and then hands the surgeon the tool he requested. Recognizing the tool he has been handed is not accurate for the current process, then he throws it down on the table and curses at the scrub nurse. All team members of the surgical take a half-step backwards from the table and all informal conversation stops. And then no one offers any further intended assistance to the surgeon.

Commercial Airline Crew: a commercial airline crew is making usual approach into an un-crowded airport on a clear day. The captain is flying and has affirmed a visual approach. His final move towards to the runway is not good, which very much complicates the plane’s landing, and the landing is deprived. After taxiing to the entrance, the captain and his whole crew discuss the poor approach, and the team members converse about what they could have done individual and together to help the captain avoid or make better a poor approach in the future. The captain thanks the team members for their help and encourages them to bear in mind how they could implement their proposal in other situations.

Clearly, the group dynamics are very dissimilar in these two situations. In the first example, the surgeon’s behaviour, attached with his position, created a condition unsuitable for effective team work. In the second example, the airline captain even though not performing the task well, fashioned a team environment where the team was much more expected to perform well in the future. In the both these situation, we would have observed different (one negative and one positive) group dynamics while the team was at work. It is seems like more appropriate to mansion in team process level a well known Group Dynamic Equation by Ivan, Steiner (1972) AP = PP – PL (The Actual Productivity of a group equal it’s Potential Productivity minus Process Losses as a result process gains).


However, as we mentioned a question in the introduction if the team is successful, then the leader can be define as effective or, any action by the leader is effective if the team succeeds? After explain, discussed and critically evaluate the given statement therefore, neither it is true that without three key contingencies; Context factor, Team Support systems, and Team Type team leader will not have the information he / she need to develop an effective team leadership strategy, nor it is true that with keep away the three contingencies a team leader will be able to develop team leadership strategy.

According to topics with having support by team effective leadership model discussed that team effectiveness in terms of input, processes, and outcomes. The input level was based on individual characteristics of the followers; the design of the team itself; and various organizational supporting systems that make the context in which the teams will operate. The process level concerned the ways in which teams behave while going about their tasks and the output level concerns whether client and customers are satisfied with the team’s product, whether the team progresses and develops as a performing bond, and whether followers are fulfilled to be members of the team. By identifying certain process problems in teams, leader can use the model and appropriate the three selected key contingencies to detect appropriate influence points for action at the team design, organizational level, or for ongoing development at the process level. Leadership practitioners need to bear in mind how a team’s intellect of identity, common goals or tasks, level of task depending on each other, and differentiated roles influence functional and dysfunctional follower behaviour. Allan H. Church (1998) cautioned in the journal of team performance management as, “Perhaps the real challenge for practitioners and academics alike is to make sure that when the work ‘team’ is used that it is in reference to something that can reasonable be called a team”.

However, taking the time to have a cross-section of the organization develop a work design that fits with the work system and people in it, investing in plenty of appropriate training and leader should make sure that very good equipment and required resources are available among and of-course a variety of contextual factors -type of technology, characteristics and background of the work force, nature of the work, and weather it’s a green field site or an established work system- are important ingredients, and considerations for team leader to developing effective team leadership strategy and team effectiveness.

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