Scandinavian Working Papers in Business Administration

SSE Working Paper Series in Business Administration,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 2020:3: Team Collective Intelligence: Developing and testing a digital team intervention for knowledge integration

Philip Runsten () and Andreas Werr ()
Additional contact information
Philip Runsten: Dept. of Management and Organization, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Andreas Werr: Dept. of Management and Organization, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Contemporary organizations rarely systematically address team effectiveness. The main managerial focus is still on designing organizations through their structures and to “fill” roles with individuals having “matching” skills. Yet, almost all outputs of organizations are the results of collaborative activities between individuals. Organizational performance is to a large extent the result of the average collaborative quality at the team level, and there is a large variation in how well people collaborate. At the same time, research has consistently confirmed that teams can be worked with, and reach improvements, through different kinds of interventions, one of the most promising being team debriefs. Against this background this study develops and tests a team intervention that is generally applicable, team-led and self-guiding. The intervention is based on an application containing a training module and a self-guiding team-led debrief process. The intervention is tested in a longitudinal study of 50 experiment and 20 control teams from 22 international and Swedish private and public organizations. Results indicate a 15 to 22% increase in team performance. Seven experiment teams (“the second best”), clustered mainly in the high performing third of the sample developed negatively, while the top performing teams developed at sample average. Possible causes and how to identify these “second best” teams are discussed.

Keywords: teams; collective intelligence; team intelligence; group intelligence; learning; psychological safety; transactive memory system; collective mind; heedful interrelating

JEL-codes: M50; M54; M59

39 pages, May 20, 2020

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