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Across the world, senior managers and team leaders are increasingly frustrated by conflicts arising from what we refer to as multiteaming—having their people assigned to multiple projects simultaneously. But given the significant benefits of multiteaming, it has become a way of organizational life, particularly in knowledge work. It allows groups to share individuals’ time and brainpower across functional and departmental lines, and it increases efficiency as well.
Multiteaming also provides important pathways for knowledge transfer and the dissemination of best practices throughout organizations. While the advantages of multiteaming are clear and quantifiable, its costs are substantial and need to be managed – from overlapping teams of independent projects to weakened group cohesion, identity, and trust due to fluctuation of team members, not to mention the stress, fatigue, and burnout experienced by individual employees.
All around, it’s a significant investment of time and effort. But organizations pay a much higher price when they neglect the costs of multiteaming in hot pursuit of its benefits. In this masterclass, Mark will discuss why multiteaming is so prevalent in today’s economy, examine the key problems that crop up for organizational and team leaders, and provide recommendations for how to solve them based on his research spanning 15 years.
Mark is an Associate Professor at INSEAD. His research focuses on the evolving nature of work, teams, and organisations in the contemporary international economy. Have a listen to one of our (very early) Podcasts we recorded with him below!