7 Teams and Teamwork (Team Roles and Team Development)



Take a moment and consider how groups and groupwork are not the the same things as teams and teamwork.  In this lesson students will take a more focused look at teams and teamwork.  This lesson reviews the stages of team development and explores the different ways to look at team roles.  The composition of teams in terms of team roles contributes significantly to team functioning.  Additionally, there is content on mutual suppport that is an important component of team culture and therefore, team functioning.  Lastly, there is content about leadership and the different ways to look a leadership on a team.


For this lesson you will:

  1. Describe the similarities and differences between group and team.
  2. Describe the stages of team development.
  3. Identify the myriad of team roles and how they impact team functioning.
  4. Explain how mutual support and task assistance play an important role in team culture.
  5. Describe the characteristics of effective leadership in healthcare applying the models shared leadership, situational leadership, and transformational leadership.
  6. Display the motivation to improve performance in the leader role on the interprofessional healthcare team.


IPEC Sub-Competencies – Team and Teamwork
TT1 Describe the process of team development and the roles and practice of effective teams.
TT2 Develop consensus on the ethical principles to guide all aspects of teamwork.
TT3 Engage other health professionals—appropriate to the specific care situation—in shared patient-centered problem-solving.
TT4 Integrate the knowledge and experience of other professions—appropriate to the specific care decisions, while respecting patient and community values and priorities/preferences for care.
TT5 Apply leadership practices that support collaboration practice and team effectiveness.
TT11 Perform effectively on teams and in different team roles in different team roles in a variety of settings.


Mutual support – “is the provision of task assistance, social support, and feedback to one or more team members, as needed.  In other words, mutual support is back-up behavior that benefits the individual, thereby, the greater good of the team” (Salas et al., 2021).

Shared Leadership – “as a relational, collaborative leadership process or phenomenon involving teams or groups that mutually influence one another and collectively share duties and responsibilities otherwise relegated to a single, central leader” (Kocolowki, 2010).

Situational Leadership – “[Occurs when] any team member who has the skills to manages the situation at hand…In contrast, the Designated Leader is the person assigned to lead and organize a designated team, establish clear goals, and facilitate open communication and teamwork among team members” (AHRQ, 2014).

Team – “is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources and skills, and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal” (Thompson, 2011, p. 4).

Team role – A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members.  Research showed that the most successful teams were made up of a diverse mix of behaviors. Belbin researched these clusters of behaviors and identified them as team roles (Belbin, 1993).

Transformational Leadership – there are five practices that transformational leaders use to lead their followers: (1) Model the way; (2) Inspire a shared vision; (3) Challenge the process; (4) Enable others to act; and (5) Encourage the heart (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).


  • The following sources with study guides have been curated for student learning.
  • For application and demonstration of learning, lab exercises can be found in the second half of this online education resource, Lab Exercises.

READ:  Forming, storming, norming, and performing:  Understanding the stages of team formation

Study Guide: Mindtools succinctly describes the stages of team development.  Team member awareness of these stages can inform a team’s functioning and offer a framework for addressing conflict on teams.

REFERENCE:  Mindtools Content Team. (2018). Forming, storming, norming, and performing:  Understanding the stages of team formation. Retrieved from https://www.mindtools.com/

READ:  The role of teamwork and situational awareness in patient safety

Study Guide:  Charney links situational awareness, an important component of team, specifically to patient safety.  She offers a concise list of abilities that teams can work on together.

Charney, F. (2018).   The role of teamwork and situational awareness in patient safety.  Retrieved January 28, 2021 from https://www.mgma.com/

REVIEW:  Mutual Support

Study Guide:   In this presentation the authors define and describe the importance of mutual support.  The authors describe how team members can effectively apply the behavior of mutual support to teamwork.  They emphasize when a team member should seek and give mutual support as well as task assistance and social support.

REFERENCE:  Salas, E., Benishek, K., Gregory, M., Hughes, A., Marlow, S., Lacerenza, C., Zajac, S., Rosenfield, S., Newell, M., Hodges, K., Sheras, P., DuPaul, G., Subotnik, R., & Lee, G.M. (January 25, 2021).  Mutual Support [PowerPoint slides].

READ:  Teams, tribes, and patient safety:  Overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare

Study Guide: Weller, Boyd, and Cumin describe educational interventions to promote an understanding of teamwork.  They review common psychological barriers to teamwork – professional silos, hierarchies, and organizational structure.  Then, they offer a framework for teaching and learning effective teamwork.

REFERENCE:  Weller, J., Boyd, M., & Cumin, D.  (2014). Teams, tribes, and patient safety:  Overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcarePostgraduate Medicine Journal, 90,149-154.

READ:  Shared leadership:  Is it time for a change?

Study Guide:  Kocolowski summarizes the findings from the literature review concerning shared leadership that includes historical context, the components of situational leadership, and the benefits and limitations of the shared leadership model.

REFERENCE:  Kocolowski, M. D. (2010).  Shared leadership:  Is it time for a change?  Emerging Leadership Journeys Journal, 3(1), 22-32. Retrieved November 5, 2022 from, https://www.regent.edu/

WATCH:  Why credibility is the foundation of leadership

 Study Guide: Posner discusses the attributes of a good leader in terms of the transformational leadership model.

REFERENCE:  TED (2015). Barry Posner:  Why credibility is the foundation of leadership [Video].  TEDxUniversityofNevada. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  (2014).  TeamSTEPPS fundamentals course.  Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/teamstepps/instructor/fundamentals/module4/slleadership.html

Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University.  (2021, November 18).  Belbin’s team roles.  https://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/dmg/tools-and-techniques/belbins-team-roles/

The Leadership Challenge. (2022).  The five practices of Exemplary Leadership Model.  Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://www.leadershipchallenge.com/research/five-practices.aspx

Thompson, L. L. (2011).  Chapter 1.  Teams in organizations:  Facts and myths.  In L. L. Thompson (Ed.), Making the Team:  A guide to managers (3rd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall.  http://leighthompson.com/images/books/MTT3Ed_Ch1_Web_Final.pdf ISBN 9780131861


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Interprofessional Education Lab Manual And Workbook Copyright © by Geraldine Terry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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