|Abstract or Summary
- Although teams are a common method of structuring work activities,
there is still much concern over their effectiveness. The primary purpose
of this study was to describe the current state of teamwork training in
Oregon and to identify critical training design activities, situational barriers
and demographic variables related to the perceived success of workplace
teamwork training programs.
A self-administered questionnaire, based on the literature and a
Delphi panel, was mailed to over 500 members of two professional training
associations (The American Society for Training and Development and
The National Society for Performance and Instruction) representing
workplace trainers in Oregon. Of the 319 questionnaires returned, 134
indicated they provided teamwork training in the workplace.
Data analysis included computing descriptive statistics on the
frequency with which respondents actually performed 61 design and
delivery/facilitation activities, the importance they placed on these
activities, and the barriers they faced. Factor analysis was used to reduce the
items, and correlational methods, including regression and ANOVA, were
used to determine the relationships between derived factors and success
and the relationship between demographic variables and success.
Descriptive analyses indicated that these respondents place highest
priority on activities related to a systemic, yet traditional view of teams
within an organization. They pay close attention to the potential impact of
organizational variables, primarily management support and goal
alignment; lesser attention to rewards. They place lower priority on items
relating to the task and technology used by the team.
Respondents employ participative, problem-solving approaches,
encouraging total, voluntary participation, and focus on clarifying
individual responsibilities, team goals, and decision-making. Aspects of a
systems approach to training (performance objectives, task and person
analysis, and continuous evaluation) are among the less frequently
According to this study, successful teamwork training programs are
performance-based, utilize constructive feedback and address individual
attributes. Dysfunctional management practices are negatively correlated
with success. Management must define clearly what teamwork means and
then model desired behaviors. Implications and recommendations for
further research are also included.