UCL School of Management

Research project

Team Leadership


Although team leadership can be enacted in many ways, a team’s formal authority structure shapes how key leadership functions are fulfilled and by whom. We analyze how specific team leadership challenges and opportunities emerge, whether the team itself or managers hold legitimate authority for four critical team functions (Hackman, 2002): (1) executing the team task, (2) monitoring and managing work processes, (3) designing the team and its context, and (4) setting overall direction for the team. It then uses the four resultant team authority structures (manager-led, self-managing, self-designing, self-governing) to synthesize relevant research and identify directions for future research. 



Selected publications

Wageman, R., Fisher, C. M., & Hackman, J. R. (2009). Timing is everything: The importance of finding the right moment in leading teams. Organizational Dynamics, 38, 192-203.
Wageman, R., & Fisher, C. M. (2014). Who’s in charge here? The team leadership implications of authority structure. In D. Day (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations (pp. 455-481). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Fisher, C. M. (2017). An ounce of prevention or a pound of cure? Two experiments on in-process interventions in decision-making groups. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 138, 53-73. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.11.004 [link]
Wang, L., Han, J., Fisher, C. M., & Pan, Y. (2017). Learning to Share. Small Group Research, 48 (2), 165-189. doi:10.1177/1046496417690027 [link]
Last updated Tuesday, 24 January 2017


Research groups

Organisations & Innovation

Research areas

Social psychology of organizations

Research topics

Collaboration; Group dynamics; Group processes; Group structure; Leadership