What teams need to work together

There’s lots research that supports a cognitive foundation to teamwork.

Team cognition is critical to effective teamwork and team performance. The current working definition of team cognition encompasses the organised structures that support team members to acquire, distribute, store, and retrieve critical knowledge. An ability to share crucial information, and know where in the team unique knowledge resides, allows members to anticipate and execute actions as a unit rather than as individuals.

The research indicates that three of the most important contributors to high-performing teams are:

  • social category heterogeneity – team members are different from one another in a number of significant respects.
  • high external interdependence – team members interacting with each other influence one another’s experiences.
  • low authority differentiation – team members have the same status, influence and power within the team.

Team cognition emerges through team learning and team member interaction.