Theses Doctoral

Well Begun is Half Done: The Impact of Initial Leader Framing on Cross-Functional Team Member Perceptions

Hacking, Antony G.

The ever increasing utilization of cross-functional teams (CFTs) to address a broad range of complex work challenges has made it imperative that factors supporting their effectiveness be better understand. While these teams have great potential for bringing together different sets of skills to address the needs of organizations their outcomes have been mixed at best with some teams exceeding expectations and many falling far short of initial hopes. The present study seeks to understand the ways in which leader behaviors related to the framing of diversity, team and purpose early in the life of a CFT have an impact on initial team member perceptions. The findings revealed no significant effects for Diversity Framing or Team Emphasis Framing on team member perceptions. Framing by the leader with regard to Purpose Clarity, however, was shown to impact significantly a number of key dependent measures with Clear Purpose leading to higher ratings of Readiness to Engage, Readiness to Learn, and Readiness to Take Risks. In addition, Clear Purpose produced a marginally significant increase in ratings of the measure, Feelings of Valuing of Uniqueness. Lastly, the results showed a significant interaction effect on the measure, Team Potency, with higher ratings occurring in the condition when Purpose was unclear, Diversity Ignored, but when the concept of Team was emphasized by the Leader. The implications of the results for theory and future research are discussed, as are implications for leadership development and the training of team coaches and consultants.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social-Organizational Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Block, Caryn J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 19, 2020