Deanna M. Kennedy

Assistant Professor
School of Business

Why Teams?

Teamwork matters when it matters...

Teamwork. It can be framed in many ways to fit almost any discipline. I am looking at teamwork from an operational perspective which means project-based, task-focused, performance driven settings where people work together to get the job done. Whereas a traditional operational perspective might assume people are rational or can be induced to behave rationally, a behavioral operations perspective departs from this assumption and incorporates behavioral and cognitive factors into models. This motivates drawing on, and contributing to, social science research to improve theories and practice in meaningful ways.

Making Teamwork Work. There are many levers to helping teams perform, like communication, shared mental models, cohesion, engagement, and lately team adaptation has risen to the top.  Team adaptation is not only about how the team handles a major crisis during the project but also how the team squelches, or not, small irritations day-to-day and all the events that disrupt teamwork in-between. From an operational perspective, it would be great if there was a procedure or contingency plan for everything, but that’s just not feasible. As such, we need to know when and what levers to pull before, during, or after the team adapts to keep the project on track.    

Teamwork Matters When It Matters. Many times I hear that teamwork doesn’t matter, the team would have completed the task even if they hated one another. Yet a number of examples suggest teamwork matters when it matters; for instance, the Apollo 13 mission in 1970 which saw the flight team (as well as mission control teams) adapting when the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded crippling the Service Module. Alternatively, the crew of China Airlines Flight 140 attempted to adapt when the first officer inadvertently pressed the take-off go around button that increased thrust to take-off levels. The crew argued and then overcompensated, resulting in the deaths of all 264 individuals.

Something cool

An Agent-Based Model of Project Management (be patient, it starts with setting the parameters). Want to know more? This model produced the results for: Drury-Grogan, M. L., Kennedy, D.M. 2013. Highlighting communication activities and inefficiencies between agile vs. waterfall methods: An agent based model of knowledge sharing. In the Proceedings of the Pre-ICIS Workshop on IT Project Management, Milan, Italy (December 14, 2013).

Sharing Resources

Are you trying to graph a moderated relationship? Here is an Excel spreadsheet for that. The sheet walks you through graphing a continuous moderator or binary moderator based on the interaction equation from Aiken and West (1991).

All Citations

Check out all of Dr. Kennedy's citations at Google Scholar.