Topics: Big Five personality traits, Team building, Teamwork Pages: 46 (14326 words) Published: June 14, 2013
Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 2006, Vol. 10, No. 4, 249 –271

Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association 1089-2699/06/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/1089-2699.10.4.249

What Makes a Good Team Player? Personality and Team Effectiveness James E. Driskell
Florida Maxima Corporation

Gerald F. Goodwin
US Army Research Institute

Eduardo Salas
University of Central Florida

Patrick Gavan O’Shea
Human Resources Research Organization

Good team players are often defined in trait terms; that is, they are described as dependable, flexible, or cooperative. Our goal is to examine the relationship between team member personality traits and team effectiveness. However, to understand the effects of personality on team performance requires greater specificity in how personality is described and in how team effectiveness is described. A hierarchical model of team member personality is presented that defines higherlevel personality traits and specific facets relevant to team performance. Next, a classification of the core teamwork dimensions underlying effective team performance is presented. Finally, predictions are derived linking team member personality facets to specific teamwork requirements. Keywords: personality, teams, team work

As Ilgen (1999) and others have noted, modern organizations have increased their reliance on teams, and this has served to foster applied research on teams in task settings. After decades in which reviewers were forced to act as apologists for the lack of vitality and progress in this field, research on teams has returned with a vengeance. One reason for this renaissance in team research is that effort follows demand, and only recently has attention been devoted to the dynamics of team performance in applied settings. Whereas most early research on group performance took place in academic settings, much of the resent resurgence in team research has been driven by organizational requirements. This realization of the value of teams for accomplishing tasks has shifted the emphasis of research from a primary focus on team pro-

James E. Driskell, Florida Maxima Corporation; Gerald F. Goodwin, US Army Research Institute; Eduardo Salas, Department of Psychology and Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida; and Patrick Gavan O’Shea, Human Resources Research Organization. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to James E. Driskell, Florida Maxima Corporation, 507 N. New York Avenue, R-1, Winter Park, FL 32789. E-mail: 249

cesses to a broader focus on team inputs, team outcomes, and the factors that mediate the effects of inputs on outcomes (Ilgen, Hollenbeck, Johnson, & Jundt, 2005). One area that is of considerable theoretical and practical interest is the topic of team member personality and team effectiveness: What are the traits that define a good team player? One of the earliest investigations of the relationship between personality and team performance was undertaken by Mann (1959), who concluded his review of this literature with the expectation that this work could serve as a takeoff point for further research. However, despite some attempts along the way (e.g., Driskell, Hogan, & Salas, 1987), the next steps to examine personality and team performance were taken almost 40 years later by Barrick, Stewart, Neubert, and Mount (1998); Barry and Stewart (1997); Hollenbeck et al. (2002); Judge and Bono (2000); LePine, Hollenbeck, Ilgen, and Hedlund, 1997; Neuman and Wright (1999); and others. Broadly speaking, these studies attempt to define the relationship between “Big Five” personality traits (emotional stability, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) and team performance.



Although these results have demonstrated the relevance of team member personality to team effectiveness, there are two ways in which we wish to extend...
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