Management team learning orientation and business unit performance

  • Bunderson J
  • Sutcliffe K
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Abstract

Although research has suggested that teams can differ in the extent to which they encourage proactive learning and competence development among their members (a team learning orientation), the performance consequences of these differences are not well understood. Drawing from research on goal orientation and team learning, this article suggests that, although a team learning orientation can encourage adaptive behaviors that lead to improved performance, it is also possible for teams to compromise performance in the near term by overemphasizing learning, particularly when they have been performing well. A test of this proposition in a sample of business unit management teams provides strong support. The results confirm that an appropriate emphasis on learning can have positive consequences for team effectiveness.

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Authors

  • J. Stuart Bunderson

  • Kathleen M. Sutcliffe

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