Korean teamwork

Workplace teams in South Korea are wedded together more by similarities in knowledge, skills and capabilities than by demographic factors such as age and gender, according to a study on software development teams.

by Human Relations
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

It is commonly believed that demographic factors that hold Korean society together, such as kinship, birthplace and educational background, will be the most important elements underpinning the cohesiveness of a team.

The results of this study suggest that these factors are not necessarily the most important in team-building. Rather, managers should consider the similarities in knowledge and perspectives (shared mental model) between team members.

The length of time a person works in a team was also seen to have contributed to a better fit to the overall team's 'mental model'.

Therefore, managers should consider ways to ensure new members of a team (chosen because they have superior knowledge) are quickly made familiar with the team's shared knowledge, skills and capabilities.

Factors in team effectiveness: cognitive and demographic similarities of
software development team members
Hye-Ryun Kang, Hee-Dong Yang and Chris Rowley
Human Relations, Vol 59 No 12, December 2006

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