Team Resilience in Complex and Turbulent Environments: The Effect of Size and Density of Social Interactions Page: 2
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and bureaucratic mechanisms . For example, in , the
authors find that teams are a fundamental source of resilience
in health and social care sectors.
At the team level, the theory of resilience investigates how
individuals, acting collectively, enable the organization to be
resilient. The majority of studies have investigated the behav-
ioral and psychological characteristics of team members
associated with high ability of the team to provide positive
outcome and desirable performance, under challenging and
critical conditions [18-21]. More recently, however, scholars
have highlighted that grouping together resilient individuals
is not a sufficient condition to make the team, as a whole,
resilient. Resilience is, in fact, socially enabled and developed
via the interactions and relations between the elements of the
system [7, 11].
Thus, in order to properly investigate team resilience, it is
important to focus on the interactions among individuals
rather than on the individual's level of knowledge, skills,
and abilities. This complex network of interactions influences
both the development and the realization of resilience .
Team resilience spontaneously emerges from the actions of
team members and their interactions. In this paper, we study
the determinants of team resilience coherently with this
approach, that is, focusing on the network of social interac-
tions among the individuals in the team.
In particular, while previous studies have characterized
interactions from social and psychological points of view,
focusing, for example, on social capital  and emotional
expression , we study the structural features of the social
network resulting from the interactions among team mem-
bers. We analyze the effect of size and density on team resil-
ience, two aspects not yet investigated in the literature. Both
variables influence the performance of collective decision-
making, thereby affecting the ability of the system to adapt
to disturbances. Resilience is measured in terms of efficacy
of the team in performing a task when the environment is
turbulent. Two dimensions are used to characterize the
turbulence of the environment: (1) the magnitude of distur-
bance and (2) the frequency of the disturbance. The magni-
tude corresponds to the extent to which the event is critical
for the team performance. The frequency corresponds to
the dynamicity of the change. In particular, we investigate
how and whether size and density influence team resilience
and study the moderating role played by the magnitude and
the frequency of disturbance on this relationship.
To accomplish our research aim, we use simulation as
research methodology and adopt the model developed first
by Carbone and Giannoccaro  and then by De Vincenzo
et al. , which reproduces how individuals collectively
make decisions in complex but static environments. Several
agent models can be found in the literature aimed at repro-
ducing the decision-making process in groups [19-21, 26,
27]. In our model, the team is framed as a complex system
made up of agents (individuals) making decisions and their
social interactions. Individuals make decisions pushed by
two drivers: (1) the improvement of a fitness level by mea-
suring, on the basis of members' knowledge, how good the
decisions are for the organization and (2) the seeking of
consensus with the other interacting members.
The fitness levels associated with the decisions are gener-
ated following the classical NK fitness landscape procedure
[28-31], where N corresponds to number of decisions and
K to the interdependence among the decisions. N and K con-
trol the complexity of the environment. Consensus seeking is
modelled by using the Ising-Glauber dynamics .
This research methodology is chosen for several reasons.
It is consistent with a long tradition of creating simple yet
insightful models of the organizations as complex adaptive
systems, by means of NK fitness landscape in both single-
firm [31, 33-36] and multifirm [37-42] contexts. In these
stream of studies, the organization is supposed to search for
high-performing combinations of N interdependent deci-
sions (choice configurations) . Therefore, the organiza-
tion is solving a decision-making problem interpreted as a
performance landscape. In particular, the NK fitness land-
scape consists in the map of all the choice configurations
onto the attendant performance. The organization under-
takes an adaptive walk on the fitness landscape to discover
the highest peak. The merit of NK fitness landscape is allow-
ing the modeler to control and fine-tune the environmental
complexity and turbulence in an easy manner .
According with this approach, in our model, we study
the team as a complex adaptive system made up of individ-
uals collectively searching on the performance landscape.
Since the environment is turbulent and disturbances occur,
the team, as a whole, adapts to change and reacts to the dis-
turbance by choosing new combinations of decisions in
order to reach the same or a better performance than those
before the disruption. For this reason, our model belongs
to the class of models studying resilience according to a
A further merit of our approach is that team resilience
emerges from the bottom as the spontaneous result of indi-
viduals' actions and their interactions. It is a collective prop-
erty and not simply the result of the existence of resilient
individuals forming the team. This permits to shed light on
the relationship between individual actions and organiza-
tional resilience, being this a crucial point to be further inves-
tigated and clarified . To model the influence of social
relationships, we employ the Ising-Glauber dynamics .
The Ising methodology has been successfully employed in
social science, economics, and management science, to
model the complex dynamics of opinion formation inside
groups, by also considering that each individual opinion is
affected by the opinion of his/her neighbors [24, 44-48].
The reason for employing the Ising-Glauber dynamics in a
team context is justified by social influence theory. This the-
ory argues that individuals make changes to their feelings,
behaviors, and decisions, as a result of the interaction with
the others . Therefore, this model applies very well to
teams, where individual's decision is affected by the opinion
of neighbors or interacting members [24, 25, 44-46, 49-51].
In this paper, we simulate the team dynamics in environ-
ments characterized by increasing complexity and increasing
levels of disturbance both in magnitude and frequency. We
then compute resilience performance. Finally, a simulation
analysis is carried out to investigate the influence of team
size and density of interactions on team resilience. Multiple
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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/m1/2/: accessed March 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.