Unpacking team dynamics with growth modeling: An approach to test, refine, and integrate theory
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In this paper we advocate the use of growth modeling as an approach that is particularly useful for testing and refining existing theory on team dynamics, as well as integrating different theoretical perspectives. Quantitative studies that test team theories have typically included only one or two time points, between-team research designs, and hierarchical regression-based statistical analyses. Such an approach enables exploration of antecedents to explain why some teams are more effective than others at specified points in the team task or lifespan. In contrast, using three or more time points of data and applying growth modeling statistical analyses is atypical, but can allow for informative investigations of team trajectories, or patterns of change within teams. We argue that this approach can facilitate fruitful insights about team dynamics, and we provide guidelines for researchers as to how to investigate such team dynamics using growth modeling.
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