Team development interventions: Evidence-based approaches for improving teamwork

Am Psychol. 2018 May-Jun;73(4):517-531. doi: 10.1037/amp0000295.


The rate of teamwork and collaboration within the workforce has burgeoned over the years, and the use of teams is projected to continue increasing. With the rise of teamwork comes the need for interventions designed to enhance teamwork effectiveness. Successful teams produce desired outcomes; however, it is critical that team members demonstrate effective processes to achieve these outcomes. Team development interventions (TDIs) increase effective team competencies and processes, thereby leading to improvements in proximal and distal outcomes. The effectiveness of TDIs is evident across domains (e.g., education, health care, military, aviation), and they are applicable in a wide range of settings. To stimulate the adoption and effective use of TDIs, the current article provides a review of four types of evidence-based TDIs including team training, leadership training, team building, and team debriefing. In doing so, we aim to provide psychologists with an understanding of the scientific principles underlying TDIs and their impact on team dynamics. Moreover, we provide evidence-based recommendations regarding how to increase the effectiveness of TDIs as well as a discussion on future research needed within this domain. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Intersectoral Collaboration*
  • Leadership*
  • Professional Competence*
  • Staff Development / methods*