Team development. How to assemble a successful team

Seminar Paper 2012 22 Pages

Business economics - Miscellaneous


Table of Contents

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Belbin’s Team Role Inventory
2.1 Team Roles
2.2 Unsuccessful and Winning Teams

3 Phases of Team Development
3.1 The Stages of Team Development
3.2 Limitations of the Model

4 Conclusion



List of Figures

Figure 1: Sussessful Clusters of Behavior

Figure 2: Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development

Figure 3: The Revised Model of Team Development

1 Introduction

Teamwork is the most important factor in achieving success in competition for companies. Teamwork should support companies to operate effectively and flexibly in the market.[1]

For employee’s teamwork is also important; in every job advertisement teamwork is required. And the higher an employee rises on the career ladder, the more important teamwork becomes.[2]

Previously, employees often work in departments, these days in many companies the employees work in project or task orientated teams. The task of today’s managers is to build a cohesive and successful team out of a group of individuals. This team has to work together for a specific time and afterwards they will have to work developing new projects.[3]

This assignment highlights successful teams and how they can be assembled and work together. This will be demonstrated in the second chapter using Belbin’s team role inventory. To begin with, the different team roles will be described and afterwards the differences between unsuccessful and winning teams will be discussed.

After a successful team is assembled, they are paced through the stages of team development. The most famous model of team development is the five stages by Bruce W. Tuckman, which will be analyzed in the third chapter. Later, the phases of team development will be shown. The limits of this model will also be illustrated.

The fourth chapter summarizes the development of this work.

2 Belbin’s Team Role Inventory

In a unique study at Henley Management College in the 1970s, Meredith Belbin asked the question “What makes some teams succeed, and others fail?” In a ten-year period of observational research Belbin used a simulation to find an answer to this question.[4]

A result of the study was that the most successful companies were those which had a mix of different types of people with a wide range of different characteristics. These different characteristics are referred to as the nine “Team Roles”.[5]

“Belbin’s team role framework is probably one of the most renowned and currently widely used in a great variety of practical team development and management development purposes.”[6]

2.1 Team Roles

The first instance that the term ‘team’ is used is in regard to games. Every player has a position and a specific responsibility in the team. The skills of each player are important but the strength of the team depends more on how well the players combine.[7]

Beyond this template the term team is also used in industry.[8] In this assignment the definition of a team will be as follows:

“A Team Role was defined as a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way.”[9]

Belbin’s approach is that team members’ behavior does not come only from the position they occupy, but also from a constant dialog process between team members, so that every team member has to define his or her specific team role.[10]

In the following text the nine team roles that are shown in Figure 1 will be described.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Sussessful Clusters of Behavior[11]

Belbin classified the team roles in three categories. The first category is the action-orientated role. It is based on the position of the employee in the organization and the accompanying responsibilities and authorities. These team roles are the Shaper, the Implementer and the Completer Finisher. The second category is the functional role. This is about the level of experience and expertise. Those are the Plant, the Monitor Evaluator and the Specialist. The third category is the people-oriented role. It takes account of how people make decisions, interact with each other, and how they utilize their talents. These roles are the Coordinator, the Teamworker, and the Resource Investigator.[12]


The first Team Role that was identified was the Plant. Belbin called the role plant because one such individual was “planted” in each team. The Plant is highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways. Other attributes of the Plant are imagination and freethinking. His weaknesses are that he sometimes ignores incidentals and, because of his preoccupation, he is not always able to communicate effectively.[13]

Monitor Evaluator:

The next team role referred to as the Monitor Evaluator. He is a levelheaded person, strategically inclined and a discerning thinker. The Monitor Evaluator weighs up various options in a dispassionate manner and judges situations accurately. But he often has little drive and lacks the ability to inspire others. He can also be over critical.[14]


The Co-ordinator is mature and focuses on the team’s objectives. He clarifies goals, he promotes decision-making, and he involves others in appropriate, constructive ways. The Co-ordinator delegates work appropriately. His failings are that he can be seen as manipulative and he offloads his own share of the work.[15]

Resource Investigator:

The Resource Investigator is outgoing and enthusiastic, so when there is a risk that the team will become isolated and inwardly-focused, the Resource Investigator carries the team’s ideas to the world outside the team. He develops contacts and provides inside knowledge. But he is also over-optimistic; he loses interest once initial enthusiasm has passed.[16]


[1] Cf. Eickenberg (2006), p. 67.

[2] Cf. Belbin (2008), p. 9.

[3] Cf. Sueddeutsche.de (2012), w.p.; Managementpraxis.ch (2012), w.p.

[4] Cf. Belbin (2008), p. 25; Belbin (2004), p. 1; Belbin (2000), p. 2.

[5] Cf. Belbin (2008), p. 25; Water/Ahaus/Rozier (2008), p. 500.

[6] Water/Ahaus/Rozier (2008), p. 499.

[7] Cf. Belbin (2010), p. 97.

[8] Cf. Belbin (2010), p. 97.

[9] Belbin (2008), p. 21; Belbin (1999), p. 32.

[10] Cf. Aritzeta/Ayestaran/Swailes (2005), p. 159.

[11] Source: belbin.com (2012 a), p. 1.

[12] Cf. Water/Ahaus/Rozier (2008), p. 499.

[13] Cf. Belbin (2008), p. 29 f.; belbin.com (2012 b), w.p.; belbin.com (2012 c), w.p.; Water/Ahaus/Rozier (2008), p. 501; Blenkinsop/Maddison (2007), p. 670.

[14] Cf. Belbin (2008), p. 31 f.; belbin.com (2012 b), w.p.; belbin.com (2012 c), w.p.; Water/Ahaus/Rozier (2008), p. 501; Blenkinsop/Maddison (2007), p. 670.

[15] Cf. Belbin (2008), p. 33 f.; belbin.com (2012 b), w.p.; belbin.com (2012 c), w.p.; Water/Ahaus/Rozier (2008), p. 501; Blenkinsop/Maddison (2007), p. 670.

[16] Cf. Belbin (2008), p. 40 f.; belbin.com (2012 b), w.p.; belbin.com (2012 c), w.p.; Water/Ahaus/Rozier (2008), p. 501; Blenkinsop/Maddison (2007), p. 670.


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Belbin Team Role Team Development



Title: Team development. How to assemble a successful team