When goal orientations collide: effects of learning and performance orientation on team adaptability in response to workload imbalance
The authors draw on resource allocation theory (Kanfer & Ackerman, 1989) to develop hypotheses regarding the conditions under which collective learning and performance orientation have interactive effects and the nature of those effects on teams’ ability to adapt to a sudden and dramatic change in workload. Consistent with the theory, results of a laboratory study in which teams worked on a computerized, decision-making task over 3 performance trials revealed that learning and performance orientation had independent effects on team adaptability when teams had slack resources available for managing their changed task. Time helped explain the independent effects of performance orientation. Results also revealed that learning and performance orientation had interactive effects when teams did not have slack resources. Finally, the results of this study indicate that teams lacking slack resources were better able to balance high levels of learning and performance orientation over time with practice on the changed task.