Teams are an integral feature of the American workplace; indeed, more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies make extensive use of work teams. Action teams, pulled together to carry out a particular time-limited function that requires the specialized expertise of its members, are becoming increasingly common. Researchers have noted that the success of these teams is often thwarted by their lack of information about teamwork in general and their insufficient mastery of basic team competencies. Most organizations train team members for the particular job at hand, so the question arises as to the utility of generic team training. In other words, would imparting knowledge and skills that could be applied in, and adapted to, any number of situations improve outcomes, and if so, what is the mechanism that facilitates this result?
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