The effectiveness of team decision making depends on a number of factors:
- The skills and abilities of the group members. Teams are often more effective when they have a mix of people who take on a preferred role, for example an effective team could include a person who comes up with ideas. It might also include somebody who could analyse those ideas, one who shows good judgement and somebody who simply makes sure that the work gets done and that the deadlines are met.
- The size of the group. Sometimes the larger the team, the more complex the communication channels become. This can slow down decision making. Larger groups also require more formal structures to co-ordinate responsibilities so as to avoid duplicating efforts.
- The task to be undertaken. Small groups may better undertake urgent tasks. This may require their undivided attention. Teams are particularly good for dealing with complex and challenging tasks. This is because teamwork provides an opportunity for combining the skills and knowledge of each of the members. One team member may come up with a more efficient method of tackling a challenge that the other members had not thought of.
Belbin‘s work on team roles is important in extending understanding of how different roles affect the output of the team.