Schools have been – and in many cases still are – systems in which tasks are distributed to individual teachers. HR management in education was therefore primarily focused on individual teacher performance. However, the responsibility for education is more and more a team effort. Think of accreditation of educational programs: in that case whole program teams are involved. Or think of educational innovation, which also necessitates team work ever more, as teachers need to collectively work on those innovations to get them aligned. HR-policies and practices are therefore gradually being redirected to promote teamwork. Large scale research of Machiel Bouwmans et al (N =70 teacher teams and 704 team members), showed positive relationships between team-oriented HR practices (such as recruitment, team development, team evaluation and teamwork facilitation) and team performance indicators innovation and (partly) team efficiency. The relationships between these HR practices and team performance were often partly or even fully mediated by affective team commitment and information processing. These are important findings for HR and innovation professionals in education and teacher teams themselves.
Bouwmans, M., Runhaar, P., Wesselink, R. & Mulder, M. (accepted). Stimulating teachers’ team performance through team-oriented HR practices: the roles of affective team commitment and information processing. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. DOI 10.1080/09585192.2017.1322626.
‘Teams of teachers are increasingly held accountable for the quality of education and educational reforms in vocational education and training institutions. However, historically teachers have not been required to engage in deep-level collaboration, thus team-oriented HR practices are being used to promote teamworking in the sector. This paper examines the relationship between team-oriented HR practices and team performance in terms of innovation and efficiency via teachers’ affective team commitment and engagement in information processing. To examine these associations, a team-oriented HRM research instrument was developed and validated based on the ability-motivation-opportunity model (N = 970, 130 teams) and hypothesised associations were examined using multilevel structural equation modeling (N = 704, 70 teams). The results show positive relationships between the team-oriented HR practices of recruitment, team development, team evaluation and teamwork facilitation, and team innovation. Additionally, all practices except team development were positively related to team efficiency. The relationships between team-oriented HR practices and these team performance indicators were often partially or fully mediated by affective team commitment and information processing. Because affective team commitment and information processing sometimes only partially mediated the links between teamoriented HR practices and team performance, other underlying mechanisms await identification.’