The upward spirals in team processes: Examining dynamic positivity in problem solving teams
AbstractPositivity in the workplace has been heralded to produce individual, social and organizational benefits. Although we know more about how positivity “broadens” and “builds” within individuals, little research has explicitly studied how positivity naturally occurs and dynamically unfolds in the flow of team interactions. This study aims to address this research gap by integrating existing knowledge on team processes with the notions of emotional cycles and “energy-in-conversation.” We observed meeting interactions of 43 frontline problem solving teams and analyzed a sample of 43,139 coded individual utterances from these teams. Using statistical discourse analysis (SDA) to model multi-level dynamics over time, we found that early positive and solution-focused interactions could send teams down a path of eliciting more “upward spirals”, thus more positivity. We also found that speaker switches added more positivity to team interactions both directly and by strengthening the positive effects of early positive and solution-focused interactions on subsequent positivity occurring in team interactions. Additionally and importantly, we found that overall positivity has positive implications for team performance. We discuss both theoretical and managerial implications of our findings.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ESMT European School of Management and Technology in its series ESMT Research Working Papers with number ESMT-13-02.
Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 04 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
dynamic positivity; team processes; team interactions; problem-solving; dynamic multi-level modeling; statistical discourse analysis;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-02-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-02-08 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-HRM-2013-02-08 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-PPM-2013-02-08 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
- NEP-SOC-2013-02-08 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Heath, Chip & Jourden, Forest J., 1997. "Illusion, Disillusion, and the Buffering Effect of Groups," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 103-116, February.
- Yoav Benjamini & Abba M. Krieger & Daniel Yekutieli, 2006. "Adaptive linear step-up procedures that control the false discovery rate," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 93(3), pages 491-507, September.
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