MTS Simulation

Funded by the Army Research Institute, NS-CTA, and National Science Foundation

Award Number W5J9CQ-12-C-0017, NSF BCS-0940851, ARL W911NF-09-2-0053 (NS-CTA)

The Coevolution of Multi-dimensional Dynamic Networks of Multi-team Systems Related to Organization Effectiveness

Many of the most urgent and complex problems require organizational structures that join the efforts of individuals working together within and across boundaries. The emergent dynamics of these networked-organizational forms are not well understood through existing theories of organizations, and so the current project develops and tests a novel theory of organizational effectiveness informed by multiteam systems theory and network theory. Organizations are first recast as networked, goal-driven collectives, and their performance is modeled based on structural configurations of three core socio-emotional and behavioral properties known to underpin the performance of goal-driven collectives:

      • Cognition,

      • Affect, and

      • Behavior.

Taken together, these two perspectives proffer great potential in understanding organizational effectiveness as a function of patterned coevolutionary networks comprised of dynamic multiplex and multilevel determinants. The current research joins an interdisciplinary team (i.e., communication, psychology, and management) together to bring social network principles to bear on organizational theory.

Laboratories at Northwestern University and Georgia Tech will develop a multilevel, multiplex, dynamic theory of organizational effectiveness. In year 1, we develop new theory explaining multiteam system (MTS) functioning as multiplex, multilevel, dynamic networks and develop the network algorithms to model MTSs in this way. In year 2, the project team will leverage archival data on MTSs to develop the modeling scheme and network indices needed to test this theory. In option year 3, the project team will use the theory and analytics developed in the first two years to investigate the role of leaders in optimizing MTS networks.

Research Studies: MTS Experiment

Schecter, A., Pilny, A., Leung, A., Poole, M. S., & Contractor, N. (2017). Step by step: Capturing the dynamics of work team process through relational event sequences. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2017, 1–19.

Pilny, A., Schecter, A., Poole, M. S., & Contractor, N. (2016). An illustration of the relational event model to analyze group interaction processes. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice: Special Issue on Statistical Methods, 20(3), 181-195. doi:10.1037/gdn0000054

Leenders, R. T. A. J., Contractor, N. S., & DeChurch, L. A. (2016). Once upon a time: Understanding team processes as relational event networks. Organizational Psychology Review, 6(1), 92–115. doi: 10.1177/204138661557831