Home > NewsRelease > Team Interdependence
Team Interdependence
Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Better Team Interdependence Doesn't Just Happen

Are your team members grumbling about too many virtual meetings, or complaining of ‘Zoomout'? It could be a disconnect between management and employees in our understanding and expectations of interdependence.

If your team has transitioned to remote work and management (and/or leadership) believes that more interdependence and management is required, but team members believe otherwise, tension will be common. This shows up in the form of complaints from employees: they push back when asked to attend meetings, participate in decision making, and do work. They often complain of micro-management.

Conversely, if your team members believe they need to be more interdependent, and management or other team members do not, complaints of lack of support and help will be common. Either way, better management is required.

Two Factors for Better Team Interdependence

The two most important factors for better team interdependence are planning and communication. When all parties understand and agree to what, where, when, how, who, and why, less communication (and meetings) is needed.

When a team does not have proper planning and communication, team members have difficulty getting information from each other, completing tasks, and making decisions. They spend unnecessary time and effort on tasks, which slows production.

How much planning and communication is enough? This depends on the type of interdependence. Sociologist and organizational theorist James D. Thompson identified three types many teams use today: pooled, sequential, and reciprocal. Because team members may be operating from different (and or limited) experiences with each type of interdependence, their expectations may vary.

Team Interdependence: One Size Does Not Fit All

One of the greatest paradoxes of this time is our need for greater independence and interdependence: in order to overcome this crisis, we need to actively work independently, and with each other. This takes great planning, communication, and coordination. It requires the right type of team interdependence.

For example, let's say your business is to make widgets. You offer standard widgets, as well as customized widgets. Your business is made up of production teams to reach standard widget goals and deliver quality custom widgets.

  • Level 1 interdependence pools standardized independent actions into a team effort. Each person creates a standard widget. This is referred to as pooled interdependence.
  • Level 2 interdependence requires a known sequence of standardized and modified actions into a team effort. Each person completes a portion of the process to produce a widget; an assembly line. This is referred to as sequential interdependence.
  • Level 3 interdependence is based on known and unknown sequences of known and unknown standardized and modified actions into a team effort. This is referred to as reciprocal interdependence.

The level of interdependence is also referred to as the degree of interdependence, and determines the type of management, or amount of coordination, needed.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Maynard Brusman
Title: Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Group: Working Resources
Dateline: San Francisco, CA United States
Direct Phone: 415-546-1252
Jump To Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Jump To Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership
Contact Click to Contact