Acad Manag Ann 2018 Jun 9;12(2):688-724. Epub 2018 Jul 9.
Organizations regularly make significant investments to ensure their teams will thrive, through interventions intended to support their effectiveness. Such team development interventions (TDIs) have demonstrated their value from both a practical and empirical view, through enabling teams to minimize errors and maximize expertise and thereby advance organizational gains. Yet, on closer examination, the current state of the TDI literature appears so piecemeal that the robustness of extant scientific evidence is often lost. Accordingly, we seek to provide a more cohesive and dynamic integration of the TDI literature, evolving thinking about TDIs toward a system of interventions that can be optimized. Drawing on the existing theoretical and empirical literatures, we first broadly define TDIs. We then offer an in-depth look at the most common types of TDIs, in terms of summarizing the state of the science surrounding each TDI. Based on this review, we distinguish features that make for an effective TDI. We then advance a more integrative framework that seeks to highlight certain interventions that are best served for addressing certain issues within a team. In conclusion, we promote a call for evolving this robust yet disjointed TDI literature into a more holistic, dynamic, and intentional action science with clear empirical as well as practical guidance and direction.