Adaptation to self-managing work teams

Peg Thoms, Jeffrey K. Pinto, Diane H. Parente, Vanessa Urch Druskat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Two studies examined the team member characteristics (Big Five personality traits and attitude toward self-managing teams) that predict successful adaptation to participation in self-managing work teams (SMWTs) as assessed by self-ratings and manager ratings. Adaptation is conceptualized as having an immediate or short-term dimension (performing the team's task well) and an enduring or long-term dimension (full cooperation in the team and commitment to team self-management). In both studies, member conscientiousness and attitude toward SMWTs were linked significantly to member self-ratings of long-term adaptation; attitude toward SMWTs, a malleable characteristic, was the strongest predictor. Short-term adaptation did not predict member self-ratings of long-term adaptation. However, short-term adaptation was the strongest predictor of manager ratings of member long-term adaptation. Results suggest that team members focus on internal feelings to assess their long-term (i.e., full) adaptation, whereas managers focus on short-term outcomes to assess long-term adaptation. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-31
Number of pages29
JournalSmall Group Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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