Team Roles

Cite this article as:"Team Roles," in The Business Professor, updated April 13, 2020, last accessed June 4, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/team-roles/.

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What are Team Roles?

Historically, teams were thought to have two categories of roles:

  • Task Roles
  • Team Function Roles

Extensive research on the topic has identified 10 key roles, categorizes as task, social, and boundary-setting roles:

Task Roles

  • Contractor role – This function arranges team work efforts – organizing, scheduling, sequencing.
  • Creator role – Creating tasks to be accomplished and developing the task process structure.
  • Contributor role – Bringing knowledge and expertise to the team by sharing information and training others.
  • Completer role – This is doing or transforming ideas into action by doing the task, gathering background information, and summarizing team ideas into reports.
  • Critic role – This means critically evaluating task completion, performance, and behavior in a way that tests assumptions made by the team.

Social Roles – This role fosters the interpersonal connections that keep the team operating effectively. It primarily serves to make the team more cohesive.

  • Cooperator role – This entails supporting and empowering those with the expertise necessary to complete team tasks.
  • Communicator role – This includes fostering communication and collaboration between team members – such as sharing ideas. This generally includes positive listening skills.
  • Calibrator role – This involves keeping the team focused and on schedule through evaluating and improving team processes by identifying the positive and mitigating team problems, such as power struggles, disagreements, and other tensions.

Boundary-Spanning Roles – This connects the team to outside activities in the larger organization

  • Consul role – This involves receiving or gathering information from outside the larger organization to inform the team and informing the larger organization of sam activities.
  • Coordinator role – This involves interacting with other teams and individuals in the organization to make certain the teams’ efforts are in line.

These roles create special responsibilities and opportunities for team leadership. Leaders must conform to needed roles and coordinate others to serve in necessary roles.

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