Advertisement

The effect of team learning behaviours and team mental models on teacher team performance

  • Andreas WidmannEmail author
  • Regina H. Mulder
Original Research
  • 20 Downloads

Abstract

Teams become a key resource for organisations to meet different challenges. Thus a high team performance is essential in work context. The aim of this study was to get a deeper understanding of meaningful team learning and team mental models in educational contexts, by analysing the effect of team learning behaviours (TLBs) on the development of task-related team mental model (Task-TMM) and team performance. A three-wave longitudinal survey was conducted among interdisciplinary vocational teacher teams (N = 66 teams with 276 team members). TLBs and team performance were measured by validated scales. Task-TMM was measured by an open question about the work tasks of the teams to achieve its goals. The answers were evaluated by content analysis and categorised according to their semantic similarity. Path modelling of the data shows that TLBs have a positive effect on developing Task-TMM and on team performance in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and innovativeness. Task-TMM has a positive effect on effectiveness but not on efficiency or innovativeness. The results provide insights into how teachers’ team performance can be fostered, such as by fostering TLBs creating a learning environment where team members depend on each other to accomplish their work tasks. Especially the longitudinal design and the type of analysis of Task-TMM provides new and deep insights into the relationship between TLBs, Task-TMM and team performance. Through the qualitative approach investigating Task-TMM the study also provides insight into the work tasks of teams in detail.

Keywords

Team learning behaviour Team mental models Team performance Teacher teams Longitudinal study Vocational education 

Notes

Funding

This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation), Grant MU 2833/4-1, awarded to Regina H. Mulder.

The authors declare that this study is in compliance with ethical standards.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors (Andreas Widmann and Regina H. Mulder) declare that they have no conflict of interest. All the authors have seen and agree with the contents of the manuscript.

References

  1. Akkerman, S. F., Van den Bossche, P., Admiraal, W., Gijselaers, W., Segers, M., Simons, P. R.-J., et al. (2007). Reconsidering group cognition: From conceptual confusion to a boundary area between cognitive and socio-cultural perspectives? Educational Research Review,2, 39–63.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2007.02.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ancona, D. G., & Caldwell, D. F. (1992). Bridging the boundary: External activity and performance in organizational teams. Administrative Science Quarterly,37, 634–665.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2393475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Argote, L., McEvily, B., & Reagans, R. (2003). Managing knowledge in organizations: An integrative framework and review of emerging themes. Management Science,49, 571–582.  https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.49.4.571.14424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bliese, P. D. (2000). Within-group agreement, non-independence, and reliability: Implications for data aggregation and analysis. In K. J. Klein & S. W. Kozlowski (Eds.), Multilevel theory, research, and methods in organizations (pp. 349–381). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  5. Bouwmans, M., Runhaar, P., Wesselink, R., & Mulder, M. (2017). Fostering teachers’ team learning: An interplay between transformational leadership and participative decision-making? Teaching and Teacher Education,65, 71–80.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.03.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cannon-Bowers, J. A., & Salas, E. (2001). Reflections on shared cognition. Journal of Organizational Behaviour,22, 195–202.  https://doi.org/10.1002/job.82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cannon-Bowers, J. A., Salas, E., & Converse, S. (1993). Shared mental models in expert team decision making. In N. J. Castellan (Ed.), Individual and group decision making: Current issues (pp. 221–246). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  8. Carley, K. M. (1997). Extracting team mental models through textual analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior,18, 533–558.  https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199711)18:1+%3c533:AID-JOB906%3e3.0.CO;2-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coke, P. K. (2005). Practicing what we preach: An argument for cooperative learning opportunities for elementary and secondary educators. Education,126, 392–398.Google Scholar
  10. Crow, M. G., & Pounder, D. G. (2000). Interdisciplinary teacher teams: Context, design, and process. Educational Administration Quarterly,36, 216–254.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0013161X00362004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dao, M. A., Strobl, A., Bauer, F., & Tarba, S. Y. (2017). Triggering innovation through mergers and acquisition: The role of shared mental models. Group & Organization Management,42, 195–236.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601117696573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Decuyper, S., Dochy, F., & Van den Bossche, P. (2010). Grasping the dynamic complexity of team learning: An integrative model for effective team learning in organizations. Educational Research Review,5, 111–133.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2010.02.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dolinska, M. (2015). Knowledge based development of innovative companies within the framework of innovation networks. Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice,17, 323–340.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14479338.2015.1054603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dougherty, D. (2017). Organizing for innovation in complex innovation systems. Innovation: Organization & Management, 19, 11–15. DOI: 10.1080/14479338.2016.1245109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dudenredaktion (Hrsg.) (2010). Duden Bedeutungswörterbuch – Wortschatz und Wortbildung. Berlin: Bibliographisches Institut.Google Scholar
  16. Edmondson, A. (1999). Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly,44, 350–383.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2666999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fürstenau, B., Trojahner, I., & Oldenbürger, H.-A. (2009). Übereinstimmungen und Unterschiede von semantischen Netzwerken als Repräsentationen komplexen Wissens. In D. Münk, T. Deißinger, & R. Tenberg (Eds.), Forschungserträge aus der Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik (pp. 117–129). Opladen: Barbara Budrich.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hinsz, V. B., Tindale, R. S., & Vollrath, D. A. (1997). The emerging conceptualization of groups as information processors. Psychological Bulletin,121, 43–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hirst, G., & Mann, L. (2004). A model of R&D leadership and team communication: the relationship with project performance. R&D Management,34, 147–160.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2004.00330.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hoegl, M., & Gemuenden, H. G. (2001). Teamwork quality and the success of innovative projects: a theoretical concept and empirical evidence. Organization Science,12, 435–449.  https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.12.4.435.10635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jörg, T. (2004). Complexity theory and the reinvention of reality education. In B. Davis, R. Luce-Kapler, & R. Upitis (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2004 complexity science and educational research conference (pp. 121–146). Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta, Institute for Complexity and Education.Google Scholar
  22. Kolodner, J. L. (1997). Educational implications of analogy. A view from case-based reasoning. American Psychologist,52, 57–66.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.52.1.57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kozlowski, W. J. K., & Bell, B. S. (2008). Team learning, development, and adaptation. In V. I. Sessa & M. London (Eds.), Work group learning: Understanding, assessing and improving how groups learn in organizations (pp. 15–44). New York: Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
  24. LeBreton, J. M., & Senter, J. L. (2008). Answers to 20 questions about interrater reliability and interrater agreement. Organizational Research Methods,11, 815–852.  https://doi.org/10.1177/10944281062296642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mathieu, J. E., Heffner, T. S., Goodwin, G. F., Salas, E., & Cannon-Bowers, J. A. (2000). The influence of shared mental models on team process and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 273–283. 10.1037t/0021-9010.85.2.273.Google Scholar
  26. Messmann, G., & Mulder, R. H. (2012). Development of a measurement instrument for innovative work behaviour as a dynamic and context-bound construct. Human Resource Development International, 15, 43–59.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13678868.2011.646894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Messmann, G., & Mulder, R. H. (2015). Reflection as a facilitator of teachers’ innovative work behaviour. International Journal of Training and Development, 19, 125–137.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ijtd.12052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mohammed, S., Ferzandi, L., & Hamilton, K. (2010). Metaphor no more: A 15-year review of the team mental model construct. Journal of Management,36, 876–910.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206309356804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nelson, R. R., & Winter, S. G. (1982). An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge: Havard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Neumann, W. (2017). Team learning at Work - Activities, products, and antecedents of team learning in organizational complex decision-making teams. Doctoral dissertation. Retrieved from https://epub.uni-regensburg.de/36361/.
  31. Raes, E., Kyndt, E., Decuyper, S., Van den Boscche, P., & Dochy, F. (2015). An exploratory study of group development and team learning. Human Resource Development Quarterly,26, 5–30.  https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.21201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Reuveni, Y., & Vashdi, D. R. (2015). Innovation in multidisciplinary teams: The moderating role of transformational leadership in the relationship between professional heterogeneity and shared mental models. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology,24, 678–692.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2014.1001377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rupprecht, M. (2014). Innovatives Verhalten bei Diversität in Unternehmensberatungsteams. Hamburg: Dr. Kovac.Google Scholar
  34. Santos, C., M., Passos, A. M., & Uitdewilligen, S. (2016). When shared cognition leads to closed minds. Temporal mental models, team learning, adaption and performance. European Management Journal, 34, 258–268.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2015.11.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schippers, M. C., Den Hartog, D. N., & Koopman, P. L. (2007). Reflexivity in teams: A measure and correlates. Applied Psychology: An International Review,56, 189–2011.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2006.00250.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Somech, A., & Drach-Zahavy, A. (2007). Schools as team-based organizations: A structure process-outcomes approach. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice,11, 305–320.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2699.11.4.305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Somech, A., & Khalaili, A. (2014). Team boundary activity: Its mediating role in the relationship between structural conditions and team innovation. Group & Organization Management,39, 274–299.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601114525437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Stahl, G. (2000). A model of collaborative knowledge-building. In B. Fishman & S. O’Connor-Divelbiss (Eds.), fourth international conference of the learning sciences (pp. 70–77). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  39. Staples, D. S., & Webster, J. (2008). Exploring the effects of trust, task and interdependence and virtualness on knowledge sharing in teams. Info Systems Journal,18, 617–640.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2575.2007.00244.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Thayer, A. L., Petruzzelli, A., & McClurg, C. E. (2018). Addressing the paradox of the team innovation process: A review and practical considerations. American Psychologist,73, 363–375.  https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tierney, P., Farmer, S. M., & Graen, G. B. (1999). An examination of leadership and employee creativity: The relevance of traits and relationships. Personnel Psychology,52, 591–620.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1999.tb00173.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Truijen, K. J. P., Sleegers, P., Meelissen, M., & Nieuwenhuis, A. F. M. (2013). What makes teacher teams in a vocational education context effective? Journal of Workplace Learning,25, 58–73.  https://doi.org/10.1108/13665621311288485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Van den Bossche, P., Gijselaers, W. H., Segers, M., & Kirschner, P. A. (2006). Social and cognitive factors driving teamwork in collaborative learning environments: Team learning beliefs and behaviors. Small Group Research,37, 490–521.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1046496406292938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Van den Bossche, P., Gijselaers, W., Segers, M., Woltjer, G., & Kirschner, P. (2011). Team learning: building shared mental models. Instructional Science,39, 283–301.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-010-9128-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van der Vegt, G. S., & Janssen, O. (2003). Joint impact of interdependence and group diversity on innovation. Journal of Management,29, 729–751.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0149-2063(03)00033-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vangrieken, K., Dochy, F., Raes, E., & Kyndt, E. (2013). Team entitativity and teacher teams in schools: Towards a typology. Frontline Learning Research, 2, 86–98. 10.14786/flr.v1i2.23.Google Scholar
  47. Vangrieken, K., Dochy, F., & Raes, E. (2016). Team learning in teacher teams: team entitativity as a bridge between teams-in-theory and teams-in-practice. European Journal of Psychology of Education,31, 275–298.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-015-0279-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vangrieken, K., Grosemans, I., Dochy, F., & Kyndt, E. (2017). Teacher autonomy and collaboration: A paradox? Conceptualising and measuring teachers' autonomy and collaborative attitude. Teaching and Teacher Education,67, 302–315.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.06.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Van Woerkom, M., & Croon, M. (2009). The relationships between team learning activities and team performance. Personnel Review,38, 560–577.  https://doi.org/10.1108/00483480910978054.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Widmann, A., & Mulder, R. H. (2018). Team learning behaviours and innovative work behaviour in work teams. European Journal of Innovation Management, 21, 501–520.  https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-12-2017-0194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Widmann, A., Messmann, G., & Mulder, R. H. (2016). The impact of team learning behaviors on team innovative work behavior: A systematic review. Human Resource Development Review, 15, 429–458.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1534484316673713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Widmann, A., Mulder, R. H., & König, C. (2019). Team learning behaviours as predictors for innovative work behaviour – A longitudinal study. Innovation: Organization Management, 21, 298–316.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14479338.2018.1530567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wilson, J., Goodman, P. S., & Cronin, M. A. (2007). Group learning. Academy of Management Review,32, 1041–1059.  https://doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2007.26585724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wijnia, L., Kunst, E., Van Woerkom, M., & Poell, R. (2016). Team learning and its association with the implementation of competence-based education. Teaching and Teacher Education,56, 115–126.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.02.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Educational ScienceUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

Personalised recommendations