This article examines empirically and systematically whether a string quartet (SQ) ensemble is perceived as a self-managed team (SMT). SMTs, which were initially employed in the industrial world, are groups of employees that have a total responsibility for a defined project. The hypothesis that the SQ would exhibit more typical SMT characteristics than other music ensembles was established in one experiment and reconfirmed in a second experiment. The assessment of the SMT characteristics in these experiments was based on an adaptation of the Self-Managing Work Team Effectiveness questionnaire that had been originally devised for working groups in the business context, and was proven in the present study to be appropriate for music ensembles as well. Possible ways to implement these interdisciplinary findings are suggested.
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