Belbin Team Roles Definition

Cite this article as:"Belbin Team Roles Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 1, 2019, last accessed December 4, 2020,

Back to: Management & Organizational Behavior

Belbin Team Roles Definition

This is an approach used to profile people based on their personality types and identify their strength and weaknesses as team members. This approach separates people into three classes which are subdivided further into nine individual roles

A Little More on Whare are Belbin Team Roles

A doctor from the UK called Dr. R. Meredith Belbin, proposed this approach and defined team roles as the tendency of people to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a certain way. The team roles are divided into the following:

(A) Action Oriented Roles

1)      Shapers- These are people with the drive and desire to overcome obstacles. They are energetic, challenging, impatient provoking and also enjoy working under pressure.

2) ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Implementers- These type of people tend to be rigid and lack flexibility. They don’t have the vision to see the new possibilities. They are efficient, disciplined, and reliable and tend to turn ideas into viable plans.

3) ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Completers- This is a type of people who maintain a degree of urgency in their work and ensure that the team delivers on time. They are prone to worry and are painstaking. They don’t stand errors of commission or omission.

(B)  People Oriented Roles

4)      Coordinators- These are people who seem as manipulative since they control how the team moves forward. They are not intellectuals or innovators although they are confident, mature and good delegators.

5)      Team-workers -This type of people are very sensitive and shy away from hard decisions. They tend to be diplomatic, have calm tempers and avert fragmentation.

6)      Resource Investigator- This type of people are open to new ideas and easily find new opportunities. However, they lose interest quickly and are lazy when not under pressure.

(C) Cerebral Roles

7)      Plant creative- These are people who focus on the big picture and avoid unnecessary issues. They are knowledgeable, imaginative and possess problem-solving skills.

8) ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Monitors-Evaluator -These people choose correctly and don’t ignore an important detail. They are also hardheaded and cold so they can’t be inspirers.

9) ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Specialists- This group is made up of people who are dedicated and professionals in their work. However, they don’t see the big picture and tend to fuse over minute details.

References for Belbin Team Roles

Academic Research on Belbin Team Roles

  • The structure of Belbin’s team roles, Fisher, S. G., Hunter, T. A., & Macrosson, W. D. K. (1998). The structure of Belbin’s team roles. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 71(3), 283-288. This paper presents a study carried out based on data collected from the UK managers, which attempts to show team roles are classified into two categories which are task and relationship.
  • A psychometric assessment of the Belbin team‚Äźrole self‚Äźperception inventory, Furnham, A., Steele, H., & Pendleton, D. (1993). Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 66(3), 245-257. This is an examination of the psychometric properties of the Team-Role Self-Perception Inventory, which is used extensively but not tested as much, to find out how people behave in teams.
  • A reply to the Belbin team‚Äźrole self‚Äźperception inventory by Furnham, Steele and Pendleton, Belbin, R. M. (1993). Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 66(3), 259-260. In this study, Furham and his co-workers claim that the inventory does not provide confidence in having predictive and construct validity after they examined the Belbin Team Role Self Perception Inventory.
  • The ‚ÄúBelbin‚ÄĚ team role inventory: reinterpreting reliability estimates, Swailes, S., & McIntyre-Bhatty, T. (2002). Journal of Managerial Psychology, 17(6), 529-536. This paper presents an argument that researchers have tampered with the true error variance that is contained in item response sets to overcome the problem of unequal scale length between respondents and this has led to Cronbach’s alpha being misapplied.
  • Belbin’s team role theory: for non-managers also?, Fisher, S. G., Hunter, T. A., & Macrosson, W. D. K. (2002). Journal of Managerial Psychology, 17(1), 14-20. This paper explains the Belbin team role scores which were derived from the personality questionnaire data gotten from volunteers from the industrial and local authority organizations.
  • The distribution of Belbin team roles among UK managers, Fisher, S. G., Hunter, T. A., & Macrosson, W. D. K. (2000). Personnel Review, 29(2), 124-140. This study uses a sample of UK managers to ascertain their preferred team roles through the use of Belbin’s model.
  • Machiavellianism in Belbin team roles, Macrosson, W. D. K., & Hemphill, D. J. (2001). Journal of Managerial Psychology, 16(5), 355-364. Belbin’s team model describes particular allowable weaknesses in the roles although sometimes it is revealed through experiences of the team working that certain behaviors among colleagues are not permissible.
  • Belbin’s team role model: Development, validity and applications for team building, Aritzeta, A., Swailes, S., & Senior, B. (2007). Journal of Management Studies, 44(1), 96-118. This paper researches Belbin’s team role model with the aim of providing a complete assessment of construct validity due to the arising conflicting evidence.
  • Control and Belbin’s team roles, Fisher, S. G., & Semple, J. H. (2001). Personnel Review, 30(5), 578-588. This research considers how the team role model developed by Belbin implied that some of the proposed roles require an exercise of control, unlike others.
  • A validation study of Belbin’s team roles, Fisher, S. G., Hunter, T. A., & Macrosson, W. D. K. (2001). European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 10(2), 121-144. This study used three independent methods to assess Belbin’s team role preferences of the members belonging to 55 teams.

An empirically‚Äźbased assessment of Belbin’s team roles, Senior, B. (1998). Human Resource Management Journal, 8(3), 54-60. This study presents an assessment of the nine team roles developed by Belbin and their weaknesses as well as strengths.

Was this article helpful?