Investigação • 15 fev 2017
Leadership as a determining factor when effectiveness is the goal

If winning is the goal, then the coach, as a leader, must know how to design a good game plan, anticipating the opponent’s moves while preparing players for counter attack. Each element is crucial and has a key role, so leadership has a decisive role in the result.

ISCTE-IUL is preparing a research project, coordinated by a team from its research unit BRU-IUL, about "Teams cognition, adaptation and multi-team systems in dynamic environments" (Cognição de equipas, adaptação e sistemas multiequipas em ambientes dinâmicos). It seeks to understand the effects of team leadership and cognition in performance effectiveness.

Adaptation and coordination skills in constantly changing environments rely on a cohesive, dynamic and flexible approach that enables individuals and teams to quickly adjust to the new terms and demands involving their tasks. This innovative project intends to explain how these teams coordinate their activities in order to adapt and to excel on the long run. The leader’s communication skills play a central role because they are directly linked to the way team members interpret situations and assigned tasks, as well as the way they respond to specific problems, weighing on the development of organizational practices.     

This study sheds new light on team work and its efficacy, analysing the arrangements that teams produce while adapting to change. It is an innovative, longitudinal approach, focusing on the need to understand the dynamics of team cognition through time, and using an experimental procedure to analyse how team cognition and leadership affects this adjustment over a certain period. This research will lead to meaningful results and practical implications, fostering adaptation skills in teams and organizations.

In the present time, simulated situations are being developed, through the experimental manipulation of mental models to analyse team performance – “Fireman Mission” (Missão Bombeiro) involves ISCTE-IUL students and is taking place at Laboratório de Psicologia Social e das Organizações (LAPSO).

For additional information, or if you wish to participate, please send an email to


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