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Team Effectiveness Leadership Model


Team building is one of the common aspects seen in organizations nowadays because of its importance in the success of the organization. Traditionally the only focus was on individual work. But now it has proved that team centred work not only helps in achieving the objectives. Also it helps to understand the team members’ difficulties in achieving the objectives and finding strategies for it.

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Team Effectiveness Leadership Model

Team effectiveness leadership model is developed by Dr. Robert Ginnett (Centre for Creative Leadership) which gives solution to the effectiveness of the team and whether leaders can influence the team for better performance. The model “can be used to identify what is required for a team to be effective and point the leader either toward the roadblocks that are hindering the team or toward ways to make the team even more effective.” (Model leads to more effective teams 1996). The model is designed on the basis of system theory in which inputs (individual, team, and organizational factors) are put for processing (activity, project) and finally finding out the output (achievement, team success). These elements are described below:


Inputs are the resources of a team. The inputs can effectively change the team. The three elements of input (individual, team, and organizational factors) can be further divided as follows:

  1. interest or motivation
  2. kills or abilities,
  3. values or attitudes.

Team is comprised of task, composition of team and norms prevailing within the team. Organizational input is composed of the reward system, education system, information systems and control systems. (The team effectiveness leadership model).


There are four process criteria that can be used to analyse how the team works:

  • Effort – Hard work
  • Knowledge and skill – Team should have sufficient knowledge and skills to carry out the task.
  • Strategy – Formulating a strategy to perform the work.
  • Group Dynamics – Good group dynamics within the work so that the team can effectively carry out the task.


The result of the team work is the output. Output depicts why the team has been formed. (Leadership and command phase II: LC 506 – the leader’s role in the development & maintenance of an effective air force team). This model [TELM] details a method for diagnosis of team problems and identifies key leverage points for creating appropriate conditions for teamwork…. A group is effective if (a) the team’s productive output (goods, services, decisions) meets the standards of quantity, quality, and timeliness of the people who use it; (b) the group process that occurs while the group is performing its task enhances the ability of the members to work together as a team in the future; and (c) the group experience enhances the growth and personal well-being of the individuals who comprise the team.” (Ginnet 2005, p. 10). In order to be an effective team, the four variables like task structure, group boundaries, norms, and authority should be carefully placed. Task structure helps the team members to know the task of each member, the sufficient autonomy to do the work and the right to have the feedback about the results. Group boundaries discuss the number of members in a team, skills and abilities to do the task, interpersonal skills etc. Every team has a set of norms to rely upon. “Norms can be acquired by the team in three ways: a) they can be imported from the organization existing outside the team, b) they can be instituted and reinforced by the leader or leaders of the team, or c) they can be developed by the team itself as the situation demands.” (Hughes, Ginnett and Curphy 2006, p. 455). Regular evaluation of the norms helps to ensure the support from the members to achieve the overall objectives. Authority refers to the power vested in the hands of the leader to reward or punish. When the team members require support or assistance the leader is responsible for providing it and leading them in the right direction. Also the authority should match the demands of the situation.

Team Effectiveness Leadership Model-Diagram
Team Effectiveness Leadership Model-Diagram

Team effectiveness leadership model for problem solving

It is useful for leadership decision making and at the same time for team diagnosis. “Every team is made up of three essential, overlapping parts: the leader, the follower and the situation. Thus, to lead teams, we need to know more about teams than about leading.” (Ginnet 2005, p. 2).

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Let XYZ be an organization with effective team members achieving the objectives. The manager identifies that the team performance is becoming poor and the productivity is decreasing in the recent situation. The manager uses the team effectiveness leadership model to solve this problem and to increase the team performance. The first step he undertook is the initial diagnosis of the problem.

Inputs (O)
Team Design (T) Individual Inputs (I)
Effort (P-1) Reward Systems
Tasks (T-1) Interests/Motivation (I-1)
Knowledge and Skills
Systems (O-2)
Design Composition
Skills/Abilities (I-2)
Strategy (P-3) Information
Systems (O-3)
Norms (T-3) Values/Attitudes (I-3)

The above table shows the inputs to be collected when problems arise in the team. Individual inputs collected are interest and motivation level of individual team members, skills and abilities and values or attitudes. The reward system of the organization or the incentives provided, education or training programs, information system was examined in the organizational inputs level. As the problem is the reduction in the efforts of the team members the manager collected all desirable individual and organizational inputs. After examining, the manager found out that the organizational level factor reward system affected the team performance and the productivity. So a restructuring in the reward system was made to increase the team’s performance because the team members were not provided with incentives for their effort.

Limitations of Team effective Leadership Model

  1. Team effective leadership model is a system model and thus it is not flexible. That means it uses only when the leader identifies that the team is not performing will. And thus it becomes useful in an already formed group. And it will be interesting if this model uses in the developing stage itself. In such case a leader will have a thorough understanding about strength and weakness of the team members. And when the group performance declines, leader can easily find out where is weak link. And there is no need of an additional time for experimentation of the model.
  2. There are three levels of relationship between human beings. As individuals, all have their own unique personalities, experience, and perspective. At the next level, all share some common experience, perspectives and behaviours with particular others. At the most fundamental level, all humans share the presence of the identical life force, or manna. Although, at the two lesser levels, there is wide variance, we also find similarities and universal characteristics. As the team members are from different cultures it will also affect the team effectiveness. So there comes the importance of norms which focus on team rather than the individual. Norms says what is right or wrong for a team member towards achieving the goal. The norms are based on the individual impact on the organisational behaviour. So if a team member causes problems, he will be punished according to the team’s norms. If the norms didn’t work the only thing will be to dismiss the person. This is one of the limitations.
  3. The best team is always a group. There is a common opinion among all that groups have different opinions which result only average its. This is one of the limitations. But for some extend it is not applicable. Every one in the team involved in the decision making will does not put a decision which will affect them adversely.


Team centred organization can use Team Effectiveness Leadership Model to discover the role of team leader. It is the team leader who has to determine the needs of the team members, the problems faced by them and the solutions. Team Effectiveness Leadership Model is a guide for performing the functions of a leader. Various issues could be addressed by the team effectiveness leadership model in which the leader should dedicate his efforts. Direction, design and development are the three roles carried by the leader in order to make the team effective.


Ginnet, Robert 2005, Leading a great team: Building them from the group up, fixing them on the fly, Executive Form, p. 10, 2009. Web.

Hughes, R. L., Ginnett, R. C., and Curphy, C. J 2006, Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience (6th Ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, p. 455.

Leadership and command phase II: LC 506 – the leaders role in the development & maintenance of an effective air force team, 2009. Web.

Model leads to more effective teams 1996, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 2009. Web.

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The team effectiveness leadership model, 2009, Web.

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