How to Build a Team: A Summary

What is required to build an effective team?

There are many different answers to that question and complex studies to show what and what not to do in building that effective team. This document gives a brief overview of five different examples of studies and articles written by professionals on this very subject. Larson (2016) begins her article talking about her own experiences with leadership and how and why it matters in her life. She concludes with the idea that “professionals perform better when they feel safe.” Duhigg (2016) finds that teams do better because of the way the team communicates, and a give and take relationship in the “group dynamics.” It concluded that good teams have “equality in the distribution of conversational turn-taking,… moreover, average social sensitivity.”

Kate and Miller (2013) have written a very compelling article on the workplace environment and how and why employees act they way they do in the workplace. Kate and Miller (2013) explain and argue that we as employees and employers have the responsibility to create a good and safe working environment for all. They concluded that all employees have the right to a good work environment. Hu and Liden (2016) found that pro-social motivation is the key to team effectiveness with other key factors such as team processes, mediation, and moderation. Hass and Mortensen (2016) found that a compelling direction and a strong structure needs the right mix and number of members, optimally designed tasks and processes, and norms that discourage destructive behavior and promote positive dynamics.

As these studies show, there is an overlying theme. The best teams are ones that communicate and support one another and make each other feel comfortable and safe. These should be simple things to implement, but that is not always the case. Look for ways to better any teams that you work in or manage so that they can also be just as successful in their endeavours and help you as the team leader or manager in the process.


Katz, J. H., & Miller, F. A. (2013). Opening Doors to Teamwork and Collaboration: 4 Keys That Change Everything. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Liden, R., & Hu, J. (2015). Making a difference in the Teamwork: Linking Team Prosocial Motivation to Team Processes and Effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, p1102-1127.

Haas, M., & Mortensen, M. (2016). The Secrets of Great Teamwork, Collaboration has become more complex, but success still depends on the fundamentals. Harvard Business Review.

Duhigg, C. (2016, February 25). New York Times. Retrieved from New York Times Website:

Larson, G. (2016, May 19). Education: HuffPost. Retrieved from Huffington Post:

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