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Once upon a time: Understanding team dynamics as relational event networks, Organizational Psychology Review


For as long as groups and teams have been the subject of scientific inquiry, researchers have been interested in understanding the relationships that form within them, and the pace at which these relationships develop and change. Despite this interest in understanding the process underlying the unfolding of relationships in teams, current theoretical and operational formulations of team process require greater specificity if they are to truly afford a high-resolution understanding. Most researchers interested in team process, study it as either a snapshot, or as a limited series of snapshots, rather than as a continuous movie displaying the nuanced sequential interactions unfolding among varying subsets of team members. Given the increasing availability of rich data regarding team dynamics, corresponding advances are needed in conceptual and analytic frameworks to utilize continuous-time data to further our understanding of team processes. This paper identifies four challenges that hinder the identification of team process/dynamics and elaborates a theoretical approach with the associated analytic machinery needed to advance a truly time-sensitive understanding of team process.




Roger Leenders, Noshir Contractor, Leslie DeChurch

Date Published



Leenders, Roger, Noshir Contractor, and Leslie DeChurch. 2016. Once upon a time: Understanding team dynamics as relational event networks. Organizational Psychology Review.(1): 92-115.


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