A faultline-based model of team leadership
Given that many work teams operate in proximate environments where member differences are salient and could lead to boundaries within a team, recent advances in diversity research would suggest that new approaches to the leadership of work teams are needed. We build on findings from the team faultlines literature in order to deepen our understanding of how the internal boundaries of work teams can be effectively managed. Whereas existing models of team faultlines have been inconsistent in terms of identifying which faultlines are most important for teams, we argue when and why certain subgroups matter and what leaders can do about them. First, we suggest that team members generally organize into three basic types of subgroups, cliques, coalitions, and cohorts, based on alignment of member traits related to identity, resources, and knowledge, respectively. Second, we extend Hackman's (1987; 2002) model of team design and leadership by proposing how certain leader behaviors are more likely to promote team effectiveness depending upon whether cliques, coalitions, or cohorts are activated.
Academy of Management 2009 Annual Meeting: Green Management Matters, Aom 2009