HOW IMPORTANT IS TEAM STRUCTURE TO TEAM PERFORMANCE?
DS 68-7: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 7: Human Behaviour in Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
This paper discusses the effects of team structure on the performance of design teams. Three types of team structures are differentiated on the basis of the functional and social groups that result from task dependencies and interaction opportunities. The reported findings are based upon results from simulation-based studies using a computational model. Differences across the team structures are investigated through a series of simulations in which the team membership and the workload busyness of the team members are independent variables, and the team performance and formation of team mental models are the dependent variables. Team performance is measured in terms of the ability of the team members to coordinate the set of tasks the team needs to perform. Findings suggest that, in general, flat teams facilitate formation of team mental models, while functional teams are best for efficient task coordination.