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    Advancing the science and practice of multiteam systems; an exploratory study

    Haikal, Hannah Kristy (2022) Advancing the science and practice of multiteam systems; an exploratory study. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Over the past decade, teams research has shifted from studying individuals and teams to studying networks of teams also known as multiteam systems (MTSs) or “team of teams”. These complex team arrangements are fraught with tensions and trade-offs making them difficult to study and difficult to manage. This presents an interesting paradox: how can we build strong teams that simultaneously work well within systems? The present thesis brings together findings from two studies to advance the science and practice of multiteam systems. First, a systematic literature review (SLR) of the literature on MTS interventions, following widely accepted good practices for conducting SLRs (i.e., PRISMA). Second, an empirical study that tests a new and native theory in the MTS domain (i.e., Luciano et al., 2018a). Using across-cultural, cross-sectional field design, this empirical study tested theoretical propositions pertaining to emergent states (i.e., social identity, psychological safety, collective efficacy) and how the shape and size of a system (i.e., structural features) may divide or disrupt teams in that system, with implications for system outcomes. Adopting a survey design148 participants were sampled, from 14 systems in nine organisations, based in the Middle East, North Africa, United Kingdom and Australia. The literature review highlighted (1) a lack of MTS intervention studies and (2) that training teams together yields positive system outcomes with more specific insights concerning coordination skills, frame of reference training and the role of leader-teams in the system. Main findings from the empirical study revealed that the combined effect of structural features of an MTS undermined between-team collaboration, as predicted. However, the same structural features taken individually exerted a positive influence on system collaboration. Thus, implying a tipping point at which the effects shift from positive to negative when combined. Other findings contribute to the debate surrounding the optimal level (team or system) for emergent states in an MTS, specifically the benefit of system identity and system psychological safety and the disbenefit of team psychological safety and team efficacy on system outcomes. Furthermore, control variables in the study were found to play a significant role in facilitating collaboration between teams (i.e., the presence of a leader-team, system tenure and system size). Taken together these findings answer calls from scholars to sample a broad range of real-world MTSs (Mathieu et al., 2018),report on MTS attributes in a consistent manner (Zaccaro et al., 2020),pay greater attention to emergent states and combine the study of emergent states with MTS attributes to explore interrelationships (Shuffler et al., 2015). This thesis advances the science and practice of MTSs and offers promising avenues for future theory, research and practice.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 11:35
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:24


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