ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (5): 1143-1157.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01143

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


方琪1, 栾琨2()   

  1. 1浙江大学管理学院, 杭州 310000
    2中国石油大学(华东)经济管理学院, 青岛 266580
  • 收稿日期:2021-07-23 出版日期:2022-05-15 发布日期:2022-03-24
  • 通讯作者: 栾琨
  • 基金资助:

Multiple team membership and its mechanism

FANG Qi1, LUAN Kun2()   

  1. 1School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310000, China
    2School of Economics and Management, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
  • Received:2021-07-23 Online:2022-05-15 Published:2022-03-24
  • Contact: LUAN Kun


多团队成员身份(multiple team membership)是指员工在一段时间内以正式身份参与多个团队的工作状态及工作模式。以往围绕“团队数量”和“团队成员身份多样性”展开的研究未能对多团队成员身份的效应形成一致的认识和研究结论。因此, 在系统回顾发展历程、厘清概念内涵的基础上, 提炼出多团队成员身份“多重团队情境”和“多重团队认同”两个关键特征, 并从注意力资源视角、社会网络视角和社会身份视角梳理并发展多团队成员身份的作用机制。最后, 针对以往研究对多团队成员身份关键特征的关注缺失、社会网络视角和社会身份视角下有意义却尚未被探索的问题, 综合技术和时间等因素提出了未来研究建议。

关键词: 多团队成员身份, 社会身份理论, 社会网络理论, 数字化


Because of the continuous shortage of valuable knowledge workers, and the rapid development of digital technology, multiple team membership (referred to as MTM) becomes more and more common in organizations. Compared to the prevalence of MTM in practice, research on MTM and its influence lags far behind and is still in its infancy in China. In order to improve the theoretical studies of MTM and guide the effectiveness of management practice, we systematically review the relevant and important research findings of MTM, summarize and develop the theoretical explanations of MTM, and introduce several promising directions for future research.
Previous literature defined MTM on different levels. Specifically, individual-level MTM is defined as a situation in which employees formally participate in multiple teams within a given period of time and invest corresponding time and energy in each team; organizational-level MTM refers to the average of team memberships owned by all employees in an organization. Extant studies on MTM have mainly focused on the “number of teams” and the “variety of teams memberships”, and looked at these two elements to examine the effects of MTM. They found that, on the one hand, MTM is likely to promote the effectiveness of resource utilization and help employees approach diverse information and ideas, resulting in a better productivity; on the other hand, with the increase in the number of teams and the variety of those teams, employees can become overloaded, and thus MTM might have negative implications on employee performance. In sum, although previous research has conducted several explorations of the effects of MTM, unfortunately, current results have failed to reach a consensus.
To further clarify the connotation of MTM and deepen MTM research, we underscore two important characteristics of MTM: multiple team contexts and multiple team identifications. Multiple team contexts emphasizes the differences in team processes and team emergent states between teams in which employees participate simultaneously; multiple team identifications focuses on MTM employees' identification with multiple team identities nested within individuals. These two characteristics extend MTM research by drawing attention to the difference in team processes and team emergence states, and MTM employees’ multiple identifications, which are overlooked by previous MTM studies that focus on “number of teams” and “variety of team memberships”. The exploration based on the two characteristics further reflects the uniqueness of MTM and helps to explain the divergence of conclusions in existing studies.This review has further organized the current research progress based on attention resource perspective, social network theory and social identity theory. Attention resource perspective mainly focuses on employee resource allocation, wastage and efficiency caused by MTM, which provides a solid theoretical foundation for MTM research. However, the contradictory research findings indicate that it is not sufficient to analyze the mechanisms of MTM from the attention resource perspective only. Following studies begin to consider the multiple team contexts that employees need to face from the perspective of social network, and to explore the influence of multiple team identifications that employees need to handle from the perspective of social identity. However, relevant research has just started, and a large number of empirical studies will be needed to further explain the mechanisms of MTM.
This review further provides five important research directions for future research of MTM. First of all, scholars could introduce the social network position and personal agency when they explore the influence of MTM based on social network theory. Second, based on social identity theory, scholars need to focus on how employees manage the relationship between multiple team identities, especially how they respond to the potential enhancement or conflict deriving from multiple team identities, and how the superordinate identity (i.e., organizational identity) could moderate the impact of multiple team identities on MTM employees. The third suggestion is to integrate different theories and to further deepen our understanding of the mechanisms of MTM. For example, future studies could explain how, based on social identity theory, MTM employees perceive and manage multiple team identities and predict their proximal motivations, and then combine the attention resource perspective and social network theory to further depict the distal mechanisms of MTM to influence employees and teams. We also encourage future studies to consider the influence of the time factor on the mechanism of MTM and to conduct more studies with a dynamic perspective. Fifthly, considering that in the digital era, a variety of collaboration technologies and artificial intelligence are being introduced in the workplace and affecting employee learning and career development as well as team work designs, how to design and deploy advanced technologies to promote MTM employees’ work productivity and collective performance will be a very meaningful research question in the future. Additionally, this review also discusses the practical implication of MTM and how to manage MTM especially in the digital era.

Key words: multiple team membership, social identity theory, social network theory, digitalization