Title: The influence of complexity and uncertainty on self-directed team learning

Authors: David Gray

Addresses: Department of Marketing and Management, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Abstract: To help increase the effectiveness of self-directed teams, this paper studies the attitudes and behaviour of self-directed team members during the course of a computer simulated marketing strategy game. Self-directed teams are used widely throughout organisations yet receive little scrutiny when they undertake a task which is subject to conditions of multi-period complexity and uncertainty. To explore the issues involved 42 teams of final year undergraduate marketing students completed online self-report questionnaires during the completion of a competitive marketing strategy simulation game. The research findings reveal team performance as a dynamic construct that is predicted by prior period performance and team resilience, but not emotional intelligence which is negatively related to team performance. It is hoped that future examinations of this model will highlight the need for management to be cognizant of these outcomes when designing training and intervention programmes to enable them to cope better with complex tasks and uncertainty.

Keywords: emotional intelligence; team performance; team resilience; price indices; share prices; share price index; Markstrat; simulation games; multi-period complexity; uncertainty; self-directed learning; team learning; effectiveness; self-directed teams; attitudes; computer simulated games; strategy games; marketing strategies; scrutiny; final year students; undergraduates; marketing students; competitive games; dynamic constructs; prior periods; training programmes; intervention programmes; complex tasks; Australia; learning behaviour; change contexts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2012.045858

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2012 Vol.6 No.1/2, pp.79 - 96

Published online: 13 Mar 2012 *

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