Expert on team leadership explains why so many teams fail to achieve success

Expert on team leadership explains why so many teams fail to achieve success
September 10, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Maybe it’s not all Lou Piniella’s fault after all. J. Richard Hackman, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts on group and organizational behavior, believes that a team’s success or failure is not rooted in a manager’s leadership style, but in how well a leader designs and supports a team so members can manage themselves. According to Hackman, formulaic leadership styles often fail because they place too much emphasis on the leader as the primary cause of team behavior. In his book, “Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances,” he identifies five conditions that a leader can establish to increase the likelihood of team success regardless of personality or individual management style. Hackman will share those conditions and other organizational strategies when he speaks at Benedictine University at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 3 in the Tellabs Lecture Hall in the Birck Hall of Science. The lecture is part of the Department of Management and Organizational Behavior (M.O.B.) Contemporary Trends in Change Management Lecture Series, which brings top national academicians and consultants to Benedictine to address major issues in organizational behavior and development. Hackman is the Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois and a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Illinois. He taught at Yale for 20 years before moving to his present position at Harvard. Hackman teaches and conducts research on a variety of topics in social and organizational psychology, including team dynamics and performance, leadership effectiveness, and the design of self-managing teams and organizations. He serves on the U. S. Intelligence Science Board and on the Board of Trustees of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Hackman is the author of numerous articles and books. He co-authored “Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make Them Great” with Ruth Wageman, Debra Nunes and James Burruss. Hackman has received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association’s division on industrial and organizational psychology, and both the Distinguished Educator Award and the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Academy of Management. The lecture is open to the public, but seating is limited. Registration is required. The cost is $490. For more information on the lecture, call Bryan Frederick, program manager, Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior (M.S.M.O.B.), at (630) 829-6223.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.