Empowered Teams Get a Slow Start, But Soon Zoom Ahead

Harvard Business Review

In a war-game simulation, newly formed teams whose leaders encouraged collaborative decisions were at first quickly surpassed by groups with "directive" leaders. But the "empowered" teams learned more rapidly, and by the end of the simulation, they had bested the other teams by about 20% of total points scored, says a research group led by Natalia M. Lorinkova of Wayne State University. Why do empowered teams get off to a slow start? At first, members go through a period of role identification, creating what may be inevitable early performance delays, the researchers suggest.

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