Original Research

Developing a team performance framework utilising Neethling’s thinking style preference instrument

Yvonne T. Joubert, Christine Swart
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1203 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1203 | © 2019 Yvonne T. Joubert, Christine Swart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2019 | Published: 26 November 2019

About the author(s)

Yvonne T. Joubert, Department of Human Resource Management, School of Management Sciences, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Christine Swart, Department of Human Resource Management, School of Management Sciences, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: This article focuses on the employees and managers’ experience of the effects of Neethling’s thinking style preference instrument on team performance.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to compile a framework to apply Neethling’s thinking style preferences to team performance.

Motivation for the study: Organisations today are aware that they need to increase quality, decrease costs, advance customer service, increase their adaptability to an increasingly competitive environment and decrease the time spent on creating new products. To realise these goals, organisations must convert their work teams into more cohesive and dedicated teams. No or limited research has been conducted on how the application of Neethling’s thinking style preferences may influence team performance.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative exploratory study was conducted with 19 participants working in the Financial and Insurance Department of a sales-driven organisation in Gauteng, South Africa. The data were collected by means of focus group and individual interviews.

Main findings: The positive effects of the Neethling’s thinking style preferences on the team were that the participants understood people better, their conflict management skills increased, their self-awareness improved, the communication in the team increased and they experienced an increase in team cohesion. The negative experiences were task avoidance, labelling and wrong assessments of people, but the positive experiences exceeded the negative experiences. Due to the positive experiences, the organisation also benefitted in terms of improved customer service and increased productivity, which could lead to organisational success and a competitive advantage.

Practical/managerial implications: When used in teamwork, the Neethling’s thinking style preference instrument shows positive outcomes regarding team performance.

Contribution/value-add: The findings of this study contribute new knowledge regarding the application of Neethling’s thinking style preferences in team performance.


Keywords

communication; conflict management; customer service; Neethling’s thinking style preferences; productivity; self-awareness; team cohesion; team performance

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