Factors Influencing Success of Ad-hoc and Positional Teams in a Pharmaceutical Research & Development Setting

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Gordon R. Simerson

Committee Member

Michael A. Morris

Committee Member

Parbudyal Singh

LC Subject Headings

Pfizer Inc. Global Research and Development, Research teams, Teams in the workplace

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 N290 Mgmt. Syst. 2005 no.1


Understanding what makes teams effective is important to the success of business. This research focused on two specific types of teams commonly found in the workplace, and sought to assess the factors for each of those types that correspond to greater success for teams. Six research questions relating to teams were evaluated, based on an Input-Process-Output (IPO) model gleaned from past research.

Qualitative methods were used to determine the factors that contributed to team performance, as well as the manner in which members defined success of those teams. The output of the qualitative research was used to develop questions for the quantitative research.

Quantitative methods revealed patterns of input-process-outcome relationships that varied across team types, and illuminated promising opportunities to improve team performance. Improvement can be effected during the formation of the team, through selection of team members. In addition, improvement can be effected during the life of the team through the actions of both leaders and members.

Several significant findings were obtained. Evidence was found suggesting that the type of team (such as Ad-Hoc or Positional) impacts IPO dynamics. Inasmuch as no such moderating effects of team type on team dynamics have been noted in prior studies, such a finding potentially may contribute a great deal to our understanding of the impacts of inputs and processes on team effectiveness. Though it was initially unexpected, substantial evidence was found that a higher percentage of females on teams is related to improved outcomes. This was the sole Input that was determined to be a key factor that should be considered when forming teams. Finally, there are four key Processes that significantly impact Outcomes of teams: Meeting management, Setting team member expectations, Developing common goals, and Strengthening team member commitment.

Recommendations for training team members and leaders were developed. Also, directions for future research were suggested.