Team Collective Intelligence - Theory, Validation And Applicability
Goyal, Ajay Kumar
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It is very critical to understand what makes a work team to behave intelligently as individual competencies often don’t convert into the collective competence. Theoretically it has been observed and underlined by many scholars that a group might have a mind of its own which is different from its constituents. Past theories related to this have taken two opposite positions one led by Le Bon emphasizing the compromised capacity of collectives in terms of loss of rationality and the second one led by Durkhiem who has seen the collectives as super-organism. But systematic investigation of phenomena of collective intelligence has not been undertaken in the context of human groups. We took to investigate this problem, starting with theoretical analysis and critical review of literature toward understanding relevant issues and aspects. We primarily reviewed the literature in team innovativeness, learning, team cognition, emotion, structure, process, effectiveness, individual intelligence and collective intelligence. Based upon the understanding thus derived we developed the constructs of collective intelligence, cognitive intelligence, social capital,, and emotional intelligence of teams, and a theoretical model outlining their interrelationships. Four specific objectives set for this research included: 1. To develop a theoretical framework for understanding collective intelligence and relate it to social capital, cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence 2. To compare the collective intelligence, social capital, cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence of teams in terms of organizational type, age of the team, gender composition and team function 3. To develop aggregate and segregate structural models to validate the construct of collective intelligence 4. To explore the applicability of structural model in practical setting through qualitative case studies The data was collected from 297 teams. This data was used for scale validation through item analysis and reliability assessment. Measures of four constructs were analyzed for sub-factors identification using principal components analysis. The main analysis included a comparison of collective intelligence, social capital, cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence across various categories followed by generation of aggregate and segregate structural models for different categories of teams, using the partial least squares (PLS) method of structural equation modeling. Partial least squares analysis supported the proposed theoretical model. For overall structural model results indicated satisfactory internal consistency (reliability), and convergent and discriminant validities (construct validity) of the measures used. All the model estimates of outer as well as inner models showed high significance level indicating the stability of estimates. Finally the R-square values indicating total variance explained, of each latent dependent variable were substantial (i.e. more than 0.30) suggested adequate predictiveness of the model. All these findings indicated that the proposed model of factor structure of team collective intelligence was based upon robust measures and had high predictiveness. For triangulation and assessment of applicability of model case studies were conducted with two teams from two different organizations. The main contributions of this research lie in the development, validation and demonstration of applicability of a model of general ability (collective intelligence) of work teams.
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