Purpose The purpose of this paper is to focus on jobrelated skill heterogeneity and action team performance by considering that team members may differ in the levels of their jobrelated skill, as well as in the way their jobrelated skill is spread over the different dimensions of the task.Designmethodologyapproach Data were used from 30 National Basketball Association NBA teams collected over 21 seasons 19861987 through 20062007. The total number of teamseasons analyzed was 584.Findings A positive relationship was found between jobskill level heterogeneity and action team performance that declines as average jobskill level in the team grows. Furthermore, action teams showed poorer performance when their members with a low jobrelated skill level have a high specialization.Practical implications From the practical perspective, it is of special interest to an action team manager to know that jobrelated skill heterogeneity has a positive influence on team performance mainly when the average jobrelated skill level in the team is low and that highly specialized members may have a negative influence on action team performance.Originalityvalue The results contribute to the team literature by focusing on action teams. This kind of team has not received attention despite their increasing importance within organizations. Additionally, using sports teams as a sample offers the possibility of gathering a large amount of objective jobrelated skill data as well as the possibility of testing hypotheses in a relatively controlled environment, but with real actions instead of experimental actions.
Management Decision – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 2, 2011
Keywords: Action team; Team performance; Heterogeneity; Job‐related skill; Skill level; Specialization; Team management
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