Purpose: The aim of this study is to describe work-engaged teams in terms of interpersonal interaction. Design/methodology/approach: Six teams (N = 31 individuals) were videotaped during a decision-making task, for one hour. Based on a priori defined categories, the authors coded the videos in terms of the degree of interaction between team members, the physical distance between members, the degree of team’s activation and the valence of their interaction. The videos were also coded in terms of motivational and affective processes. Team work engagement was assessed using questionnaires. Findings: Highly engaged team members work physically close and have an increment on their interactions up until the task’s temporal midpoint. They have an initial peak of activation and show more positive emotional valence in the first and the last moments of the task. The most interpersonal processes used are affective. The worst performing team had the highest initial interaction levels followed by an abrupt decrease both in their levels of interaction and in their levels of activation. Simultaneously, they present higher peaks of positive emotional valence. Practical implications: Although engaged teams are essentially characterized by the presence of positive interactions, it is fundamental to alternate more “exited” and fun moments with more task focused ones and collective interaction moments with individual work. Originality/value: This study answers to Kozlowski and Chao’s (2012) call for studying emergence in a more direct way, using qualitative analysis of video data.
- Team interaction
- Team work engagement