A temporal common ground for learning: The moderating effect of shared mental models on the relation between team learning behaviours and performance improvement

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Abstract

In this longitudinal study, we integrated a team process and a learning curve perspective on team learning and empirically analysed whether team learning processes lead to performance improvement. In addition, we tested whether this relation is moderated by the similarity of team members' task, team, and temporal mental models. We tested our model on a sample of 67 teams (314 individuals) competing in a management simulation over five consecutive time periods, using random coefficient modelling (RCM). Our findings suggest that team learning behaviours do not have a direct effect on the team learning curve, but temporal and task mental models are crucial for the translation of team learning behaviours into performance improvement. We found that when teams have similar task and temporal mental models, engaging in team learning processes is beneficial, whereas, when teams have dissimilar task and temporal mental models, it is detrimental to performance improvement. We did not find a significant effect for the moderating role of team mental model similarity. Our study emphasizes the importance of integrating different perspectives on team learning and provides support for the role of team cognition as a catalyst for team learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-725
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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