Team capability towards dealing with uncertainty: A grounded theory of team adaptability

Chen Yue, Gang Zhang, Patrick Fong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Team adaptation is emphasized nowadays due to increasing environmental dynamism. To explicate team's capability that enable it to deal with various changes, the construct “team adaptability” is explained in this study by grounded theory approach. Team adaptability is defined as the extent to which teams flexibly adjust their behaviors to deal with environmental changes. It is identified as the inherent ability of team that cannot be reduced to individual level, but can manifest through individual interactions. These manifestations include three major types: 1) team members' behavioral consistency; 2) team members' interactive relationships; and 3) team members' directed cognition. Grounded analysis based on data from 10 teams supported the above argument. Eight subcategories with 26 main codes were identified to describe the three manifestations of team adaptability. By identifying the main manifestations of team adaptability, we make theoretical contributions for the general team adaptation study and research of team effectiveness within dynamic environment. Practical consideration of developing adaptive teams in the management field is also discussed in this paper based on research findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number201707372
JournalJournal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Grounded theory
  • Software development teams
  • Team adaptability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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