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Latest Team Building Research

Why is team building important to you?

The success you achieve as an individual in the workplace relies heavily on your participation at team level. Team building serves to facilitate the shift from what you want to achieve for yourself in the workplace and what the team requirements are. By assisting the team in the reaching of their goals each individual is brought closer to their ultimate goal. With industry constantly evolving and expanding, most functions in the workplace are multi-faceted and as a result would function better with different functions being assigned to individuals as part of a unit. These individual strengths will be brought to the fore by the activities selected on a team building excursion.

By having various activities which will encompass and highlight the inherent strengths in individuals and relating them to specific work functions, individuals can be better placed within a team. A team building session can also serve to highlight the concept of diversity and and encourage better integration of staff members through creating a better understanding of fellow team members, enabling success in the work environment. Social skills and social norms have an impact on interaction between team members, ensuring respect is evenly spread and a hierarchy is avoided allowing teams to make decisions as a group.

Having a team that operates successfully will result in

What Makes Teams Smart

What makes some groups perform better than others?

Thomas Malone A new study published in Science found that three factors were significantly correlated with a group’s collective intelligence — in other words, its ability to perform a variety of tasks collectively, from solving puzzles to negotiating.

Right: Thomas W. Malone, MIT Sloan School

The three factors are: the average social sensitivity of the members of the group, the extent to which the group’s conversations weren’t dominated by a few members, and the percentage of women in the group. (The women in the study tended to score higher on social sensitivity than the men.) In other words, groups perform better on tasks if the members have strong social skills, if there are some women in the group, and if the conversation reflects more group members’ ideas. The groups studied were small teams with two to five members.

The study was conducted by Anita Williams Woolley of Carnegie-Mellon, Christopher F. Chabris of Union College, and Alexander Pentland, Nada Hashmi and Thomas W. Malone, all of MIT.

Interestingly, the researchers found that collective intelligence wasn’t strongly correlated with the average intelligence of the individuals in the group — or with the intelligence of the smartest person in the group. They also found, as they wrote in Science, ”that many of the factors one might have expected to predict group performance — such as group cohesion, motivation, and satisfaction — did not.”

For more on Thomas W. Malone’s ideas about collective intelligence, see MIT Sloan Management Review’s Spring 2010 interview with Malone.

This page was last updated on 17 March 2016.