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Enhancing the Performance of Senior Credit Union Management Teams

This study reports the results of research on the effectiveness of senior management teams, their functioning as teams and how they affect organizational performance.

Executive Summary

Existing research on teams focuses on two primary issues: the processes through which the group works together, and the effect of group processes upon group performance and organization performance. Research suggests that another important influence rests in the relationship between the processes and their effect.

This study explores the latter relationship, the organizational performance, specifically as it pertains to senior management teams at credit unions. The research discovers how the team processes and their effects are impacted by the degree of interdependency within the team or group. It further proves that the success of this relationship varies considerably in credit unions depending upon how interdependent team or group members are and how much that degree of interdependence affects the relationship between processes and team dynamics and effects.

What is the research about? 

To determine team processes and dynamics, researchers measured four key group processes within a senior management team: communication, personal conflict, task conflict, and cohesion. The first three measures assess a team’s dynamics—how well they communicate and how they deal with conflict within the team. Cohesion refers to the shared commitment and pride within the group, which, in large part, is a function of the team’s dynamics.

Researchers measured the degree of interdependence within the team—the extent to which the team is mutually accountable for organizational goals.

What are the credit union implications?

The implications of these results are clear: Executive teams do have an impact not only on their own performance, but on the performance of their organizations. How the executive team functions can significantly affect changes in ROA.