Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate interpersonal characteristics associated with Belbin's team roles in work groups. Design/methodology/approach – The SYMLOG Interpersonal Effectiveness Profile (an interpersonal measure of personality), the EPQ (an intrapsychic measure of personality) and a revised version of Belbin's behavioural checklist measure of team roles were administered to 145 UK managers. Findings – Canonical correlation analysis showed that SYMLOG personality dimensions were much more clearly and strongly related to team roles than were EPQ personality dimensions. The dominance (upward) SYMLOG dimension was positively associated with the roles of implementer, coordinator and resource investigator, and this was the most important canonical variate. The accepting authority (forward) SYMLOG dimension was positively associated with the roles of completer finisher, monitor evaluator and negatively associated with plant and shaper, and this was the next most important canonical variate. The friendly (positive) SYMLOG dimension was positively associated with the roles of team worker and plant and this was the least important canonical variate. Only the extraversion dimension of the EPQ was clearly associated with team roles (implementer, coordinator, resource investigator and team worker). Research limitations/implications – The present findings are too dependent on self‐report questionnaires which are prone to biases such as positivity, leniency and halo effects. Research using observational analysis of behaviour in groups would be useful for extending the present findings. Practical implications – Organizations might improve the functioning of their teams by analysing the sorts of interpersonal characteristics that are duplicated or lacking in their personnel so that a balanced mix of personalities can be established across different roles. Originality/value – There has been little research on the interpersonal as opposed to the intrapsychic personality characteristics of different social roles in small groups.
Journal of Managerial Psychology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2006
Keywords: Personality; Team working; Group work
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