Chapter | The Academy of Management Annals | 2007

Three Perspectives on Team Learning: Outcome Improvement, Task Mastery, and Group Process.

by Amy C. Edmondson, James R. Dillon and Kate Roloff


The emergence of a research literature on team learning has been driven by at least two factors. First, longstanding interest in what makes organizational work teams effective leads naturally to questions about how members of newly formed teams learn to work together and how existing teams improve or adapt. Second, some have argued that teams play a crucial role in organizational learning. These interests have produced a growing and heterogeneous literature. Empirical studies of learning by small groups or teams present a variety of terms, concepts, and methods. This heterogeneity is both generative and occasionally confusing. We identify three distinct areas of research that provide insight into how teams learn to stimulate cross-area discussion and future research. We find that scholars have made progress in understanding how teams in general learn, and propose that future work should develop more precise and context-specific theories to help guide research and practice in disparate task and industry domains.

Keywords: Learning; Organizational Culture; Performance Improvement; Practice; Groups and Teams; Research; Adaptation; Cooperation;


Edmondson, Amy C., James R. Dillon, and Kate Roloff. "Three Perspectives on Team Learning: Outcome Improvement, Task Mastery, and Group Process." In The Academy of Management Annals, edited by James P. Walsh and Arthur P. Brief, 269–314. Psychology Press, 2007.