[Editor's Note: We are pleased to welcome Jose M. de la Torre-Ruiz who collaborated with Vera Ferron-Vilchez and Natalia Ortiz-e-Mandojana on their article "Team Decision Making and Individual Satisfaction with the Team" in the April Issue of Small Group Research.]
The main reason justifying this work was the necessity of analyzing in depth individuals’ affective reactions toward being involved in team-decision making processes. Although team decisions have shown some advantages compared with decisions made by only one person, team decision-making process can be complex and generate some negative reactions by part of team members. For this reason in this paper we paid attention to some specific factors that may influence the satisfaction of individuals with the team. We specifically focus on some personality traits (collectivism orientation and self-efficacy for teamwork), on the individuals’ perception of team decision-making process (specifically perception of team debate and decision comprehensiveness), and on the final decision of the team.
Our work highlights the necessity of considering that team members’ satisfaction with the team may depend on factors developed at different temporal moments in the team decision-making process. These results have important implications to the extent that the handling of these factors can be different.
The fact that team debate has a negative influence on team members’ satisfaction but that the decision comprehensiveness has a positive influence is an especially interesting result. This implies that although team members are satisfied when different opinions are assessed before making the decision, they prefer to avoid possible conflicts and heated debates that can be derived from this. Thus, our result highlight the necessity of studying in depth the decision-making process and try to understand when team members can be more or less comfortable in the team.
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Abraham Lincoln once said that if you wanted to test a man’s character, give him power. While one would hope that a person would use their power to benefit people as a whole, it can become a solely self-serving practice. But just why would a leader act selfishly? That’s the question that Melissa J. Williams researched in her article, “Serving the Self From the Seat of Power: Goals and Threats Predict Leaders’ Self-Interested Behavior” from Journal of Management.
Why do some leaders use their position to amass personal prestige and resources, and others to benefit the team, the organization, or society? This article synthesizes new, cross-disciplinary research showing that self-serving leader behavior is predictable based on the function and nature of power—an essential component of leadership. First, because power increases goal-oriented behavior, it amplifies the tendency of self-focused goals to yield self-interested behavior. Self-focused goals may arise from a variety of sources; evidence is reviewed for the role of traits (e.g., low agreeableness), values (e.g., self-enhancement), self-construal (e.g., independence), and motivation (e.g., personalized power motivation). Second, because power is generally desirable, leaders whose power is threatened (e.g., self-doubts, positional instability) will turn their focus to maintaining that power—even at others’ expense. These ideas have important implications for research and for organizational efforts to develop leaders who will improve others’ outcomes rather than merely benefit themselves.