Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the passing of J. Richard Hackman. Dr. Hackman was the preeminent scholar on teams and team effectiveness, having devoted the majority of his professional career to researching and understanding the topic. Moreover, he authored my favorite book on the subject: Leading Teams. Unfortunately, it has never achieved the popularity of similar books in the business press.
While I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Hackman, I was fortunate to discover his research and writings several years ago. He had the rare ability to communicate the subtlety of a complex topic in an engaging manner without watering it down to meaningless drivel; thus making it possible to implement his recommendations in a business setting.
I would encourage anyone interested in this topic to read Leading Teams, along with the following:
- Hackman, J.R. (2009, May). Why teams don’t work. Harvard Business Review, 87, pp. 99-105.
- Hackman, J.R., & Katz, N. (2010). Group behavior and performance. In S.T. Fiske, D.T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (5th ed.) (pp. 1208-1251). New York: Wiley.
- Hackman, J.R. (2011, June 7). Six common misperceptions about teamwork. Harvard Business Review Blog Network
- Hackman, J.R., & Wageman, R. (2005). A theory of team coaching. Academy of Management Review, 30, pp. 269-287.
- Hackman, J. R., & Wageman, R. (2005). When and how team leaders matter. Research in Organizational Behavior, 26, pp. 37-74.