Leading empowered teams: An examination of the role of external team leaders and team coaches

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Leading empowered teams: An examination of the role of external team leaders and team coaches
The Leadership Quarterly

We examine the influence of two sources of team leadership – formally assigned external team leaders and team coaches, along with organizational and team-based human resource (HR) supports – on team empowerment, processes, and performance. Using survey measures and temporally lagged objective performance indices from 70 service teams and applying structural equation modeling, the results indicate that coaches significantly influence team empowerment, and thereby team processes and performance whereas external team leaders do not. Findings also indicate that HR and organizational supports relate positively to team empowerment and that the effect of coaches on empowerment is beyond the effects of HR and organizational supports, team interdependence, and external team leaders. Directions for future research and application are discussed in terms of using team coaches in addition to traditional leaders for teams adopting new work arrangements.

Citation: 
The Leadership Quarterly Volume 27, Issue 1, February 2016, Pages 109–123

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