Building better teams ” through a little distance

What kind of team works together most effectively? The kind that keeps some distance between one member and the rest of the team. So suggests a new study on geographically dispersed teams, which finds that it is beneficial for a group to include one member who is at a different location. That "isolate" prompts the group to be more disciplined in its coordination and communication ” yielding a better and more productive experience for all members.

The study, conducted by Michael Boyer O'Leary of Boston College's Carroll School of Management and Mark Mortenson of the MIT Sloan School of Management, will be appearing in a forthcoming article in the academic journal Organization ScienceBrief highlights of the study's findings are featured in the just-released Summer 2008 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.