Determinants of team effectiveness for cross-functional organizational design teams

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Virginia Tech


Recent research indicates that teams are an essential element of most leading organizations (Mohrrnan, Cohen, & Mohrrnan, 1995). With the proliferation of team use comes the need for research to better define the design and management requirements unique to specific types of teams. This research focused on cross-functional design teams tasked with the organizational redesign of sociotechnical work systems. A design team is a cross-functional multi-lex el team with the responsibility to create and often implement a plan for work system redesign. The research objective was to develop a deeper understanding of the team characteristics (called design features) that were most related to team effectiveness. Team effectiveness was defined to include both team performance and team member satisfaction. Cross-functional design teams were studied across two large organizations and key learnings were identified from a third large organization with substantial experience in team-based work redesign. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from team members using survey questionnaires and interviews. The data analysis strategy included Within and Between Analysis (which uses analysis of variance, correlations, and analysis of covariance) and multiple regression techniques to identify design features most related to team effectiveness at the team level. Results indicated that team skills and clarity in team sponsor expectations were significantly related to team performance at the team level (r= 0.83, p< 0.005, and r=0.89, p< 0.005, respectively).



Team effectiveness, Cross-Functional teams, Organizational redesign