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Effective Teamwork: Practical Lessons from Organizational Research, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-4443-5534-5
320 pages
January 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Effective Teamwork: Practical Lessons from Organizational Research, 3rd Edition (1444355341) cover image


Updated to reflect the latest research evidence, the third edition of Effective Teamwork provides business managers with the necessary guidance and tools to build and maintain effective teamwork strategies.

  • A new edition of a bestselling book on teamwork from an acknowledged leader in the field
  • Offers a unique integration of rigorous research with practical guidance to develop effective leadership teams
  • Features new chapters on virtual teams and top management teams, plus contemporary themes of ethics and values
  • Utilizes research based on positive psychology techniques
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi

Part 1 Team Effectiveness 1

1 Creating Effective Teams 3

Task and Social Elements of Team Functioning 6

Team Effectiveness 7

Key Revision Points 12

Further Reading 12

Web Resources 12

2 Real Teams Work 13

Why Work in Teams? 17

Barriers to Effective Teamwork 21

What is a Team? 27

What do Teams do? 29

How can we build Effective Teams? 31

Conclusions 35

Key Revision Points 37

Further Reading 37

Web Resources 38

Part 2 Developing Teams 39

3 Creating Teams 41

Personality and Ability 43

Teamwork Skills 49

Diversity of Team Members 52

Benefiting from Team Diversity 57

Implications of Diversity 58

Key Revision Points 59

Further Reading 59

Web Resources 59

4 Leading Teams 60

The Three Team Leadership Tasks 61

The Three Elements of Leading Teams 63

Tripwires for Team Leaders 77

Developing Team Leadership Skills 79

Self-managing or Shared Leadership Work Teams 84

Key Revision Points 85

Further Reading 85

Web Resources 86

5 Team Training 87

The Stages of Team Development 89

Types of Team Training Interventions 91

Conclusions 101

Key Revision Points 102

Further Reading 102

Web Resources 102

Part 3 Team Working 105

6 Setting Team Direction 107

Team Objectives 107

The Elements of Team Vision 113

Strategy for Teams 115

Key Revision Points 117

Further Reading 117

Web Resources 118

7 Team Playing 119

Interaction 120

Information Sharing 124

Influencing and Decision Making 125

Creating Safety in Teams 131

Key Revision Points 133

Further Reading 134

Web Resources 134

8 Team Quality Management 135

Groupthink 136

Team Pressures to Conform 138

Obedience to Authority 139

Team Defence Mechanisms 139

Commitment to Quality 141

Task Focus/Constructive Controversy 142

Encouraging Constructive Controversy in Teams 143

Conclusion 151

Key Revision Points 152

Further Reading 153

Web Resources 153

9 Creative Team Problem Solving 155

Team Innovation 156

Creative Problem Solving in Teams 160

Techniques for Promoting Creativity within a Team 162

Using Creativity Techniques in Team Meetings 166

Other Influences on Team Innovation 167

Key Revision Points 170

Further Reading 170

Web Resources 171

10 Team Support 172

The Emotional Life of Teams 174

Social Support 176

Support for Team Member Growth and Development 182

Balance between Home and Work Life 184

Social Climate 184

Conclusions 186

Key Revision Points 187

Further Reading 187

Web Resources 187

11 Conflict in Teams 188

Team Conflicts 188

Types of Team Conflict 189

Resolving Team Conflicts 189

Organizational Causes of Conflict 191

Interpersonal Conflicts 193

Difficult Team Members 195

Key Revision Points 198

Further Reading 198

Web Resources 198

Part 4 Teams in Organizations 199

12 Teams in Organizations 201

Introducing Team-based Working (TBW) 202

The Relationship between Teams and their Organizations 205

What do Teams need from their Organizations? 207

The Role of Human Resource Management (HRM) 209

What do Organizations require from Teams? 213

Bridging across Teams 216

Conclusions 219

Key Revision Points 219

Further Reading 220

Web Resources 220

13 Virtual Team Working 221

What is Virtual Team Working? 225

Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Teams 227

How to Develop Effective Virtual Team Working 228

Lifecycle of Virtual Teams 235

Conclusion 238

Key Revision Points 239

Further Reading 239

Web Resources 240

14 Top Management Teams 241

Task Design 243

Team Effort and Skills 245

Organizational Supports 248

Top Management Team Processes 251

Top Team Participation 254

Corporate Social Responsibility 255

Top Team Meetings 257

Conflict 262

CEO Leadership 263

Conclusions 266

Key Revision Points 268

Further Reading 268

Web Resources 268

References 269

Author Index 286

Subject Index 292

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Author Information

Michael West is Professor of Organizational Psychology at Lancaster University Management School, UK. Previously Executive Dean of Aston Business School, he has authored, edited or co-edited seventeen books. He has also published over 200 articles for scientific and practitioner publications, and numerous chapters in scholarly books. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS), the American Psychological Association (APA), the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the British Academy of Management (BAM) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
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"The book provides an in-depth examination of the range of positive and negative factors which can affect team functioning.  The ethics and values in team performance are considered and form a fundamental part within each section."  (The British Psychological Society, 1 September 2012)



Imagine seven billion individuals on earth … most of whom at some time experience life as members of teams, especially at work but elsewhere as well … and imagine the incalculable combinations of people and situations that make for teams. Where can we possibly look for advice on how to get so many different teams to be effective?

Look first to Michael West’s new book. It maintains a laser focus on what it really means for a team to be effective. It embraces the complexity of things that matter – leadership, goals, support, technology to name just a few – and it consistently delivers evidence-based advice on the surest ways of making teamwork effective.
Rick Guzzo, Principal and Worldwide Partner, Mercer Human Resources Consulting

Yet again, in the 4th edition of this deservedly popular pocket book, Michael West has produced a masterly digest of knowledge from a sprawling literature on this vitally important topic. Insights, examples and learning points emerge from first page to last, including, new to this edition, the very latest research on virtual and top management teams. It is unusual for books to successfully bridge the academic and practical divide, but this one has equal appeal for scholars wanting the lowdown on the state of the field, and for practicing managers trying to figure out what goes right and what goes wrong with teams in their organisations. You will not find a finer, more concise, authoritative and clearer assembly of available knowledge on teams anywhere.
Nigel Nicholson, Professor of Organisational Behavior, London Business School, UK; author of Managing the Human Animal and Family Wars

This new edition of Michael West’s book helps us understand what a team is and what we can do to improve teams' functioning. The book covers the most important factors impacting on teams’ operation and outcomes. It is based on solid scientific knowledge and the author’s extensive applied experience in the field. It provides readers with useful tools that can be implemented to help managers lead and develop their teams. Based on my own experience as director of a university service, I can tell that these tools, and the knowledge on which they are based, really work.
Vicente González-Romá, Director of the Observatory of Job Insertion and Occupational Guidance, University of Valencia, Spain; Editor of the European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology

Once again Michael has brought together the great management and leadership concepts of this decade to provide a practical, well evidenced contribution to leading successful organisations. With a clear and insightful understanding of organisation realities, Michael's understanding of team work, staff engagement and heath and well being are combined to provide an extremely helpful practitioner and leadership guide supported by all the research, evidence and exercise material we've come to expect. In a world where the focus of personal and organisational psychology is often remedial, this books engages us in using positive psychology to enhance the quality of life for staff through the achievement of shared goals.
Dean Royles, Director, NHS Employers, UK

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