Leadership and Team Performance
As it goes, discussing team performance and performance management gives due attention to means and measurements that address staff qualities. This is understandable, as a great part of the overall productivity is attributed to the quality and effort invested by team members into their work. Also, there is a reasonably larger number of team members, than there are team managers and leaders. This assumption provides a healthy premise for investing in research that aims for boosting performance through stimulating staff qualities. Nevertheless, when discussing team efficacy, one cannot and should not overlook the effect team leaders have on the overall performance.
Leadership qualities have been found to play an important role, both as a catalyst between different staff traits and organizational requirements, as well as a cohesive and enhancing agent for developing highly effective, dedicated teams. Thus, if one’s goal is to enhance performance, due credit and attention must be given to the managing team.
To this point, valuable information is found in the 2010 study, conducted by Buyl, Boone, Hendriks and Matthyssens. They have found that CEO characteristics have a moderating effect on the firm’s performance. The characteristics they refer to are the CEO’s expertise, functional background, their founder status and history with other top management team members. The authors state that these traits affect the exchange and integration of information within the top management team, which in turn contributes to enhancing departmental performance. In other words, the CEO contributes in realizing the top management team’s potential. Furthermore, it significantly contributes to getting employees involved in the innovation process.
Another relevant study was conducted in 2012 by Lazear, Shaw & Stanton, in which they assessed the value a manager brings to the team’s overall productivity. The data was collected from a large service company, over a 4 year period and included a total of 23.878 workers and 1.940 managers. What they found was the fact that a large part of the team’s productivity is accounted for by supervisor effects. They imply that the average boss is about 1.75 times as effective as the average staff member. The conclusion derived from their results is that bosses vary in their productivity-enhancement skills, which causes the team’s performance to vary accordingly. Thus, the Key Performance Indicator % High performing employees is determined, to some extent, by the quality of management. Also, they have found that management quality assures the retention of workforce and staff members, rather than their abandonment of the team.
The aforementioned studies refer to the private sector. Nevertheless, the effect that leadership has on performance management is pervasive, across corporate settings, be they private or public, as highlighted by a 2014 study, conducted by Hassan and Hatmaker. They argue that, although few studies address leadership effects in a public sector setting, the effect is as important and present as in the private sector. Their study was conducted on 477 employees and 161 managers, from a large governmental agency, where they tried to determine how the manager-employee relationship impacts the employee’s in-role and extra-role performance. The benefit is palpable, as it allows the organization to grow, as a consequence of this relationship, like for example, through # Ideas put forward by individuals to team leaders. Their results suggest that the quality of leader-member exchange has a high effect on the employee’s performance ratings.
- Buyl, T., Boone, C., Hendriks, W., & Matthyssens, P. (2011). Top management team functional diversity and firm performance: The moderating role of CEO characteristics, Journal of management studies, 48(1)
- Hassan, S., & Hatmaker, D. M. (2014). Leadership and Performance of Public Employees: Effects of the Quality and Characteristics of Manager-Employee Relationships, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
- Lazear, E. P., Shaw, K. L., & Stanton, C. T. (2012). The value of bosses (No. w18317), National Bureau of Economic Research