Team Learning: Collectively Connecting the Dots

Aleksander P.J. Ellis, John R. Hollenbeck, Daniel R. Ilgen, Christopher O.L.H. Porter, Bradley J. West, Henry Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations


This article tests the degree to which personal and situational variables impact the acquisition of knowledge and skill within interactive project teams. On the basis of the literature regarding attentional capacity, constructive controversy, and truth-supported wins, the authors examined the effects of cognitive ability, workload distribution, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, and structure on team learning. Results from 109 four-person project teams working on an interdependent command and control simulator indicated that teams learned more when composed of individuals who were high in cognitive ability and when the workload was distributed evenly. Conversely, team learning was negatively affected when teams were composed of individuals who were high in Agreeableness. Finally, teams using a paired structure learned more than teams structured either functionally or divisionally. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, as well as possible limitations and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-835
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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