THE EFFECT OF TEAM COMMUNICATION BEHAVIORS AND PROCESSES ON INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAMS' RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY AND TEAM SATISFACTION

Susan Morgan, Soyeon Ahn, Alexandra Mosser, Tyler R Harrison, Jue Wang, Qian Huang, Ashley Ryan, Bingjing Mao, John Bixby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim/Purpose There is ample evidence that team processes matter more than the characteris tics of individual team members; unfortunately, very few empirical studies have examined communication process variables closely or tied them to team outcomes. Background The University of Miami Laboratory for Integrated Knowledge (U-LINK) is a pilot funding mechanism that was developed and implemented based on empirically-established best practices established in the literature on the Science of Team Science (SciTS). In addition to addressing grand societal challenges, teams engaged in processes designed to enhance the process of “teaming”. This study uses the Inputs-Mediator-Outputs-Inputs (IMOI) model as a blueprint for an investigation into how team communication processes (shared communication, shared leadership, formal meetings, informal meetings) influence intermediary team processes (goal clarity, role ambiguity, process clarity, trust) and team outcomes (team satisfaction, team productivity). Methodology Monte Carlo methodologies were used to explore both longitudinal self-report (survey of communication and team outcome variables) data and objective data on scholarly productivity, collected from seventy-eight members of eleven real-world intact interdisciplinary teams to explore how team communication processes affect team outcomes. Contribution This study is among the few that centers communication practice and processes in the operationalization and measurement of its constructs and which provides a test of hypotheses centered on key questions identified in the literature. Findings Communication practices are important to team processes and outcomes. Shared communication and informal meetings were associated with increased team satisfaction and increased research productivity. Shared leadership was associated with increased research productivity, as well as improved process and goal clarity. Formal meetings were associated with increased goal clarity and decreased role ambiguity. Recommendations Team trainings should focus on communication practices that improve shared for Practitioners leadership and shared communication. Additionally, teaching best practices for formal (task-oriented) meetings can help improve goal clarity and decrease role ambiguity. Finally, the benefits of informal socializing should be recognized, and teams should be encouraged to meet informally (socially, without formal task agendas). Recommendations Studying intact interdisciplinary research teams requires innovative methods and for Researchers clear specification of variables. Challenges associated with access to limited numbers of teams should not preclude engaging in research as each study contributes to our larger body of knowledge of the factors that influence the success of interdisciplinary research teams. Impact on Society The success of interdisciplinary teams can be improved with trainings focused on communication skills. The success of these teams is critical to addressing societies' most pressing challenges, and careful consideration of team processes is critical to that success. Future Research Future research should examine different team formation and funding mecha nisms and extend observation and data collection for longer periods of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-110
Number of pages28
JournalInforming Science
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • communication
  • science of team science
  • shared communication
  • shared leadership
  • team outcomes
  • team processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'THE EFFECT OF TEAM COMMUNICATION BEHAVIORS AND PROCESSES ON INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAMS' RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY AND TEAM SATISFACTION'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this