Into the fray: Adaptive approaches to studying novel teamwork forms

Michaela J. Kerrissey, Patricia Satterstrom, Amy C. Edmondson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Novel forms of teamwork—created by rapid change and growing diversity among collaborators—are increasingly common, and they present substantial methodological challenges for research. We highlight two aspects of new team forms that challenge conventional methods. Factors pertaining to change (e.g., in membership) create entitativity challenges such as whom to count as team members, while factors pertaining to difference (e.g., in expertise) create concordance challenges such as how to interpret disagreement in groups. We review research methods that are well-suited to each of these specific challenges. We identify the particular challenges of studying teams that exhibit high difference and change simultaneously and call for adaptive methods that enable insight into how they work. Clarity about the dimensions of deviation from ideal team forms, along with shared terminology, will help researchers make and discuss tough methodological choices and assist reviewers in evaluating them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-86
Number of pages25
JournalOrganizational Psychology Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • concordance
  • entitativity
  • knowledge diversity
  • methods
  • team member fluidity
  • temporary teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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