How teams cope with new challenges through informal leadership

Research Briefing

Keywords: leadership, informal leadership, perceptions, teams, performing teams, social sensing

A number of recent studies have identified that a team’s performance is largely based on the group’s ability to re-organise, coordinate and adapt its capabilities, resources, behaviours and actions to meet the needs of the current situation. Recent studies have also found that high performing teams, when faced with a dynamic and changing situation, depend less on pre-existing leadership networks and hierarchies and more on shifts and changes in informal leadership, as they develop and progress.

In short, much of the most recent research is finding that the adaptive capability of the team is to a large extent based on the flexibility, adaptability, and dynamic variability of the team’s informal leadership capacity. The more latitude a team has in terms of informal leadership and expertise, the more likely it is to perform well in changing, volatile, complex and uncertain environments.

This research briefing looks at a study which will be essential reading for anyone involved in team development and are interested in informal leadership.

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