PETER STORM, PhD, CHANTAL SAVELSBERGH, PhD, AND BEN KUIPERS, PhD
Learning for Success: How Team Learning
Behaviors Can Help Project Teams to
Increase the Performance of Their Projects
In Learning for Success, Drs. Storm, Savelsbergh and Kuipers contend most project teams have two different but ultimatelycomplementaryaims: toper-form and to learn. Good performance stimulates the desire to become even better,
which in turn can lead to discovering how
to do so. The reverse is also true: Learning
benefits performance on current projects as
well as those to come.
How well do these principles bear out in
practice, though? The authors present
research showing that team performance
and learning are positively related, and they
test the hypothesis to discover whether or
not the same holds true on more complex
The authors also studied how stress
affects team learning and performance. In
; Does role stress (the ambiguity, conflicting
demands and overload of one’s position in
an organization) only affect individuals or
the entire team?
; Which team characteristics correlate with
team-level role stress and team performance?
; How does role stress affect individual and
; Do team learning behaviors help teams
and individuals cope with role stress? If
so, how can project managers stimulate
team learning behaviors?
A survey of 40 teams, their project
managers and their sponsors showed, not
The authors contend
is more likely to
within a team than
surprisingly, that role stress hurts team performance. But it also revealed that role stress
hurts team learning and that team learning
does indeed help team performance.
Of particular value to project managers
is a discussion of what management style
they should employ for optimum team
learning and performance. The authors contend that person-focused, participative leadership is more likely to stimulate learning
within a team than a task-focused and
Finally, the authors present a model of
communication, training and feedback that
shows how project teams and their leaders
can expand team learning and performance
for better results.
Project Management Institute,
2010, ISBN: 9781935589051,
paperback, 48 pp., $23.95
Member, $29.95 Nonmember.