The Signatures of Success in Teams & Multliteam Systems

Aaron Schecter, T A J Roger, Leslie Ann DeChurch, Noshir Contractor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Research on groups and teams has spent more than sixty years trying to isolate the interaction processes that distinguish those groups who succeed from those who fail. This study advances a novel conceptualization of group process: the sequential structural signature (SSS), and an associated analytic approach: relational event network analysis. Sequential structural signatures reveal the underlying generative mechanisms through which a group’s communication comes about. We test a central idea from multiteam systems theory (MTST), that communication patterns prompt countervailing effects on team versus system effectiveness, using the notion of SSSs. We begin by developing a conceptual taxonomy delineating of four classes of generative mechanisms that explain how MTS communication arises: affiliation, within-team, between-team, and homophily within roles. We then evaluate hypothesized effects of SSSs on team and MTS performance in a laboratory study consisting of 28, 20-person MTSs (560 individuals). In support of MTST, we find the signatures of team success differ from those of MTS success. Furthermore, we find some of the signatures that underpin team success undermine system performance, and vice versa.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
StatePublished - 2014


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