Team Learning: A Theoretical Integration and Review

Bradford S. Bell, Steve W. J. Kozlowski and Sabrina Blawath

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology, Volume 2

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199928286
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Team Learning: A Theoretical Integration and Review

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With the increasing emphasis on work teams as the primary architecture of organizational structure, scholars have begun to focus attention on team learning, the processes that support it, and the important outcomes that depend on it. Although the literature addressing learning in teams is broad, it is also messy and fraught with conceptual confusion. This chapter presents a theoretical integration and review. The goal is to organize theory and research on team learning, identify actionable frameworks and findings, and emphasize promising targets for future research. We emphasize three theoretical foci in our examination of team learning, treating it as multilevel (individual and team, not individual or team), dynamic (iterative and progressive; a process not an outcome), and emergent (outcomes of team learning can manifest in different ways over time). The integrative theoretical heuristic distinguishes team learning process theories, supporting emergent states, team knowledge representations, and respective influences on team performance and effectiveness. Promising directions for theory development and research are discussed.

Keywords: team learning; team action regulation; group information processing; collective knowledge; macrocognition

Article.  34789 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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