Team Resilience in Complex and Turbulent Environments: The Effect of Size and Density of Social Interactions Page: 1

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Hindawi
Complexity
Volume 2018, Article ID 1923216, 11 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1923216

VI LEY Hinda i

Research Article
Team Resilience in Complex and Turbulent Environments:
The Effect of Size and Density of Social Interactions
Ilaria Giannoccaro ,1 Giovanni F. Massari,' and Giuseppe Carbone 1,2
1Dipartimento di Meccanica Matematica e Management, Politecnico di Bari, Viale Japigia 182, 70126 Bari, Italy
2Center for Nonlinear Science, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 311427, Denton, TX 76203-1427, USA
Correspondence should be addressed to Giuseppe Carbone; carbone@poliba.it
Received 27 October 2017; Revised 20 May 2018; Accepted 12 June 2018; Published 24 July 2018
Academic Editor: Hiroki Sayama
Copyright 2018 Ilaria Giannoccaro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is
properly cited.
How are teams able to cope with environmental threats? Why are some teams better than others in facing this challenge? This paper
addresses these questions by investigating two drivers of team resilience: the team size and the density of social interactions among
team members. We adopt a complex system approach and employ a model of team decision-making where collective dynamics of
team members are governed by a continuous-time Markov process. The model simulates team performance in complex and
turbulent environments. It is used to measure the resilient ability of team to quickly adapt to disturbance and secure a new more
desirable condition. Scenarios characterized by increasing levels of complexity and turbulence are simulated, and the resilience
performance is calculated and compared. Results show that the team size negatively affects the team resilience, whilst the density
of social interactions plays a positive influence, especially at a high level of complexity. We also find that both the magnitude
and the frequency of disturbance moderate the relationship between team size/density and the team resilience.

1. Introduction
Nowadays, the complexity, the uncertainty, and the turbu-
lence of the competitive environment continuously threat
the survival of organizations. Unpredictable and large dis-
ruptive events undermining their performance are more
and more frequent, from natural disasters such as hurricanes,
earthquakes, seaquakes, and volcanic eruptions to terrorist
attacks, human errors, and market disruptions [1-4]. Orga-
nizations not only experience sudden and occasional envi-
ronmental jolts but also continuously undergo periodic
shifts in demand, competitors, and regulations, which make
their competitive position uncertain [5]. This situation is
further complicated by the growing global interconnected-
ness of the environment where organizations live. Never
more than now, organizations are embedded in multiple
web of interactions with suppliers, customers, competitors,
and institutions [6], which affect their performance in a com-
plex, unpredictable, and nonlinear manner.
To survive and succeed in this scenario, organizations
should be resilient [7]. Organizational resilience is the ability

of a system to cope with perturbations, failures, and threats,
by absorbing the disturbance [8-10], and/or to quickly
recover, so as to restore its functions [2, 11, 12].
The theory of organizational resilience explains how
individuals, groups of individuals, and organizations as a
whole are able to provide positive outcome and desirable
performance under challenging and critical conditions. It
includes the ability to rebounce from stressing situations,
thus reducing the impact of the disruptions, but it also looks
beyond entailing the ability of managing disruptions and
unexpected events and maximizing the speed of recovery to
the original or to a new more desirable condition [2, 13].
Accordingly, organizational resilience involves two main
dimensions: (i) resistance to change and (ii) adaptive capacity
[14, 15]. The theory of organizational resilience explains why
some organizations can exist and thrive in complex environ-
ments with unpredictable, nonlinear, and nonincremental
change, while others do not.
Despite the great amount of research on the topic, the
theory of team resilience is still underdeveloped [16].
Team-based structures show higher resilience than hierarchy

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Giannoccaro, Ilaria; Massari, Giovanni F. & Carbone, Giuseppe. Team Resilience in Complex and Turbulent Environments: The Effect of Size and Density of Social Interactions, article, July 24, 2018; Cairo, Egypt. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1234365/m1/1/ocr/: accessed April 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.

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