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Developing a Theory of the Strategic Core of Teams



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Journal of Applied Psychology 2009 Vol 94 No 1 48 61 2009 American Psychological Association 0021 9010 09 12 00 DOI 10 1037 a0012997 Developing a Theory of the Strategic Core of Teams A Role Composition Model of Team Performance Stephen E Humphrey Frederick P Morgeson Pennsylvania State University Michigan State University Michael J Mannor University of Notre Dame Although numerous models of team performance have been articulated over the past 20 years these models have primarily focused on the individual attribute approach to team composition The authors utilized a role composition approach which investigates how the characteristics of a set of role holders impact team effectiveness to develop a theory of the strategic core of teams Their theory suggests that certain team roles are most important for team performance and that the characteristics of the role holders in the core of the team are more important for overall team performance This theory was tested in 778 teams drawn from 29 years of major league baseball 1974 2002 Results demonstrate that although high levels of experience and job related skill are important predictors of team performance the relationships between these constructs and team performance are significantly stronger when the characteristics are possessed by core role holders as opposed to non core role holders Further teams that invest more of their financial resources in these core roles are able to leverage such investments into significantly improved performance These results have implications for team composition models as they suggest a new method for considering individual contributions to a team s success that shifts the focus onto core roles Keywords team group role core experience Composition research has tended to focus on what could be termed individual attribute composition This approach explores how different ways of aggregating individual team member attributes relate to team effectiveness For example researchers have examined



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