Organizational learning and multiteam systems

Leslie A. DeChurch*, Gina M. Bufton, Sophie A. Kay, Chelsea V. Velez, Noshir S. Contractor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Multiteam systems consist of two or more teams, each of which pursues subordinate team goals, while working interdependently with at least one other team toward a superordinate goal. Many teams work in these larger organizational systems, where oft-cited challenges involve learning processes within and between teams. This chapter brings a learning perspective to multiteam systems and a multiteam system perspective to organizational learning. Several classic illustrations of organizational learning-for example, the Challenger and Columbia disasters-actually point to failures in organizational learning processes within and between teams. We offer the focus on intrateam knowledge creation and retention and interteam knowledge transfer as a useful starting point for thinking about how to conceptually and operationally define learning in multiteam systems. Furthermore, we think leadership structures and multiteam emergent states are particularly valuable drivers of learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Group and Organizational Learning
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780190263362
StatePublished - Apr 5 2017


  • Emergent states
  • Multiteam system
  • Organizational learning
  • Shared leadership
  • Team
  • Team affect
  • Team cognition
  • Team learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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