Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Designing high performance teams for projects : a study of 49 project teams in the UK construction industry
Author: Jenner, Mark Steven
ISNI:       0000 0001 3590 1616
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 1997
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Teams have been presented as a panacea to complex and turbulent business environments, but there are few examples of genuinely high-performing teams. This study considers the utility of work design as a means of improving the performance of project teams and thereby resolving this paradox. Grounded in quantitative methodology, and supported by relevant qualitative data, this study has used a single case experiment to examine the effects of multiple work design variables on the climate and performance of 49 construction project management teams. The single case environment provided an opportunity to study a large number of real work groups, executing broadly similar tasks, while controlling for the effects of organisational culture on social and work behaviour. The results indicated that three levels of intervention - transformational leadership, team organisation and team performance orientation - were influential in either (a) directly influencing project team performance or (b) creating a team climate which was itself predictive of desired outcomes, specifically the moderation of project complexity and higher levels of productivity. In particular, the results showed that the `inspiring a shared vision' leader practice was influential in explaining the perceived satisfaction of customers with project team performance. This provides empirical evidence that visionary leadership is an important determinant of high performance in complex, fluid and uncertain work environments, such as construction project management. Although task orientation and shared vision emerged as reasonably strong performance norms in the sample, it is generally difficult isolating the referent group norm(s) which explain(s) the variation in the performance of project teams working in myriad social, temporal and task conditions. Rather than attempting to manage group behaviour in realtime, therefore, the results of this study suggest that a coherent and integrated package of work design interventions can leverage exceptional value from project teams by helping each team to develop unique performance and behavioural strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Human resource management; Leadership; Project