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KSAOs in traditional teams

Traditional teams are distinguished from virtual teams by having regular opportunities to meet and work face-to-face. These teams have been the focus in much of the applied psychology and management literature. Several researchers have provided KSAO taxonomies for traditional teamwork, with a focus extending beyond core task competences

(e.g., Cannon-Bowers, Tannenbaum, Salas & Volpe, 1995; Hoegl & Gemuenden, 2001; Stevens & Campion, 1994). Stevens and Campion (1994) organized teamwork KSAOs into two broad domains: interpersonal and self-management. Interpersonal KSAOs include competences for conflict resolution, collaborative problem solving and communication. These KSAOs refer to a member’s competence to interact appropriately and adaptively with others. Self-management KSAOs are premised on the assumption that teams are empowered to make decisions and manage members’ activities. As such, these KSAOs define competences that assist team coordination, goal-setting and performance monitoring. Other taxonomies of teamwork KSAOs echo those proposed by Stevens and Campion (1994), though they have several other dimensions (e.g., Cannon-Bowers et al., 1995; Hoegl & Gemuenden, 2001; Loughry, Ohland & Morre, 2007). Cannon-Bowers and colleagues (1995), for example, proposed additional KSAOs for situational awareness and adaptability in team members. Beyond the initial planning and successful adaptation depends on members’ awareness potential problems (situational awareness) and the thoughtful adjustment of their actions to respond to such problems.

Although the teamwork competences provided by these frameworks are highly intuitive, they lack empirical scrutiny (Krumm & Hertel, 2013). Because the taxonomies were generated with inferential methods, potentially useful KSAOs could be missing. In addition, the broad range of tasks performed by teams is likely to alter the relative importance of teamwork KSAOs. As Cannon-Bowers and colleagues (1995) note, KSAOs may be task-generic (i.e., highly relevant to all team tasks) or task-specific (i.e., highly relevant only to certain tasks). For example, some teams perform routine tasks in a stable environment, which reduces the importance of situation awareness and adaptability relative to other KSAOs. The unique nature of virtual teams should create task demands that may not be adequately addressed by the general competence models of traditional teams.

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