“Which Lane Should I Play?”: Team Adaptability in
10/08/20, 12:30PM - 1:00PM PT
About the Presentation
We ground our work in three important lanes of research. First, studies have shown that the more adaptive a team is, the more likely the team will be successful (DeChurch & Haas, 2008; Gibson & Birkinshaw, 2004; LePine, 2003, 2005). Second, examining how teams adapt from a process perspective, prior work has also argued that team adaptation is a multilevel and multiphasic process and teams may engage in multiple adaptation processes simultaneously (Burke, Stagl, Salas, Pierce, & Kendall, 2006; Marks et al., 2001). Lastly, team research shows that the nature of a team environment, such as uncertainty (Milliken, 1987) or volatility (Gibson & Dibble, 2013), can influence team performance. While teams can perform better if they adapt, reflect, and learn their lessons during the process, overwhelming amount of uncertainty can also be detrimental to teams. Thus, we hypothesize that (a) there is a positive relationship between team adaptability and team performance; (b) teams with higher adaptability have a more diverse adaptation process when facing diverse adaptation stimuli; and (c) there is a curvilinear relationship between environment volatility and team adaptability.
To test these hypotheses, we propose a mixed methods study with a convergent design to examine team adaptability in esports teams, using League of Legends (LoL) as an example (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2018). We will first conduct semi-structured interviews with LoL esports team members to gain an in-depth understanding of team adaptability in the esports context. Then, larger-scale survey data will be collected from esports team members to formally test the study hypotheses.
The proposed study provides several important contributions. First, it addresses the issue of team adaptability in a novel but increasingly common context. Esports teams compete in virtual environments using physical technological equipment. This provides an opportunity to capture both the material and the virtual aspects of adaptability. Second, esports teams bridge virtual teams and high-reliability teams (Burtscher, Meyer, Jonas, Feese, & Tröster, 2018). While esports teams operate in primarily a virtual environment, they also demand high reliability where every decision that team members make matters in a competitive video game. From a practical perspective, understanding how esports teams adapt to its environment will help the teams process disruptive events effectively and carry out necessary adaptive action.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, UC Santa Barbara
Young Ji Kim
Assistant Professor in Communication, UC Santa Barbara
Prior to joining UCSB, Young Ji worked as a postdoctoral associate at the Center for Collective Intelligence of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has won several top paper awards for her research from the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, and the Academy of Management. She has also received a university-wide service award from UCSB and a university-wide teaching award while at USC.