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Useful Research by Ed Lawler, Susan Albers Mohrman

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TENAcademic-Consultant CollaborationDoing Research across the Divide

RUTH WAGEMAN*

SOME TEN YEARS AGO, an unusual research collaboration began. A trio of senior consultants, deeply experienced in working with chief executives, reflected on countless observations of wheel-spinning, conflict-ridden leadership teams and wondered whether it really had to be that way. The popular press writings on top teams provided help . . . of a sort. These works described similar patterns: conflicts among members never surfaced effectively, chief executives driving an agenda with no signs of team ownership of the strategy, repeated returns to the same sticky issues. But the underlying message in these works was less helpful: That’s just how it is with teams of ...

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