Dysfunctional Teams

Dysfunctional Teams - Small Group Research...

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http://sgr.sagepub.com Small Group Research DOI: 10.1177/104649649903000405 1999; 30; 491 Small Group Research Joann Keyton Analyzing Interaction Patterns in Dysfunctional Teams http://sgr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/30/4/491 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com can be found at: Small Group Research Additional services and information for http://sgr.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://sgr.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://sgr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/30/4/491 Citations at PURDUE UNIV LIBRARY TSS on January 5, 2009 http://sgr.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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Keyton / DYSFUNCTIONAL TEAMS ANALYZING INTERACTION PATTERNS IN DYSFUNCTIONAL TEAMS JOANN KEYTON University of Memphis After a brief review of team effectiveness models is presented, Stohl and Schell’s concept of farrago —a confusing group member who becomes the relational focus of a dysfunctional group—is reconfigured into primary and secondary provokers. It was hypothesized that a group’s dysfunction is caused by the primary provoker’s confusing behavior. Behaving at one anchor of a behavioral dimension and then at the other, the primary provoker pulls other group members into a web of confusing communication, causing them to become secondary provokers. The dysfunction that results replaces the task focus of the team. This assumption was tested in two studies of organizational work groups. Results indicate that confusion on only one dimension—the friendly-unfriendly—distinguishes dysfunctional from effective groups. Organizations rely on teams to perform effectively, yet many group members feel literally trapped in ineffective or poorly per- forming teams. Groups are an inevitable component of organiza- tional life (Ancona, 1990), and as such, scholars and managers are interested in how to facilitate them more effectively. As organiza- tions favor structures with work teams central to their decision scholars continue to explore why some groups achieve exemplary outcomes, whereas others fail. After a brief exploration is pre- sented of group effectiveness models and their omission of atten- tion to difficult group members, a model explaining the impact of 491 SMALL GROUP RESEARCH, Vol. 30 No. 4, August 1999 491-518 © 1999 Sage Publications, Inc. AUTHOR’S NOTE: Portions of this article were presented at the 1996 University of North Texas Symposium on Work Teams and at the Southern States Communication Association, Tampa, 1991. at PURDUE UNIV LIBRARY TSS on January 5, 2009
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Dysfunctional Teams - Small Group Research...

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