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Academic Article Interpersonal Communication

AcademicArticle: Interpersonal Communication

AcademicArticle: Interpersonal Communication

Section1: Annotated bibliography

Pisani,M. (2012). The impact of team composition and interpersonalcommunication on perceived team performance: A case study. EuropeanJournal of Social Science,35 (3), 411-430.

Pisaniaimed at evaluating the contribution of interpersonal communicationto the overall performance of work teams. The author used effectiveresearch tools (including the Interpersonal Communication Inventory)to pursue the goals of the study. The key issue being addressed inthe article is the capacity of the interpersonal communication toinfluence the team members to increase their performance. Theresearcher hypothesized that the lower performance team displays alower score in interpersonal communication compared to a highperformance team. Pisani evaluated the research hypothesis byconducting a case study of different work teams in an air freightcargo company that has its headquarters in the European country. Theresults of this study failed to confirm the initial hypotheses, butcreated a lead to other factors (including leader legitimacy, workexperience, and gender) that can be used to explain performancedifferences between the teams. Pisani concludes that the team roleorientations coupled with demographic characteristics of individualteam members can be used to explain performance differences betweenteams compared to team roles.

Section2: Analysis


Aneffective analysis of an academic article can be achieved byconsidering its strengths and weakness in order to determine itsquality and its contribution to a given field of study. The title andthe purpose of the study are the key items that indicate its focus.In the case of Pisani’s article, the title of the article clearlyreflects the content of the study. By reviewing the title of thearticle, the readers get an overview of the content, which is theeffect of the composition of work teams and interpersonalcommunication on teams’ performance. In addition, the purpose ofthe research, which is to evaluate the contribution of interpersonalcommunication in explaining performance differences between teams, isclearly stated and it is relevant to the field of interpersonalcommunication. This means that the researcher understands theresearch problem that is being investigated in the article.

Theresearch reviews the literature in a way that makes it easy toidentify strengths and weaknesses of the previous research works. Forexample, the review of literature enhances the readers’understanding of the fact that interpersonal communication among themembers of a work team is indispensable and each action in a teamconstitutes a type of communication. This implies that interpersonalcommunication is an essential determinant of productivity of peopleworking together. In addition, previous research works haveidentified that the mix of individual abilities in a work teamdetermines the overall performance of a given team. Moreover, thePisani identified that most of the previous studies in the field ofinterpersonal communication are based Belbin’s findings, whichmeans that they used tools such as Belbin’s team role model.Therefore, these studies are not based on real-life empirical data,but on management games. This created the need for Pisani to considera case study that would lead to the use of empirical data indetermining the role of interpersonal communication in teams’performance.

Theresearch design (the case study) is suitable for the evaluation ofvariables (including team performance, team, balance and teamcharacteristics) and pursuance of the study purpose. This designhelped in the collection of real-life empirical data to fill the gapof consistent use of management games in the previous research. Inaddition, the research design allowed the researcher to use twoeffective research tools, including the Belbin’s self-perceptioninventory and interpersonal communication inventory. The use andimportance of these research tools are well described in the article.Moreover, the procedure used by the researchers is clearly outlinedand can be replicated. Most importantly, the research design makes itpossible to establish the association between the level of score incommunication skills and performance of teams.

Theresults section describes the method of data analysis clearly and thefindings are presented in a systematic way with the tabularsummaries. Consequently, it is possible to assess the researcher’sfindings for each variable and how the research fills the researchgaps identified in the literature review section. The study has twokey findings that are unique compared to what was known before theresearch was conducted. First, the researcher identified thatinterpersonal communication is not positively associated with teamperformance. This was confirmed by the fact that the high performanceteam had the best and the worse communicators compared to lowerperformance teams. This indicates that, unlike the findings in mostof the research works reviewed in the article, the interpersonalcommunication score can be used to explain the existing performancedifferences between teams. This allowed the researcher to reject theresearch hypothesis, which stated that teams with lower performancehave lesser interpersonal communication scores compared to teams withhigher performance. Secondly, the research identified thatperformance differences can be explained by other factors, includingthe size of work teams and the capacity of the team leader tointeract with team members. In addition, the research managed toestablish the link between the findings and the existing research.


Althoughthe findings presented in the article make a significant contributionto the field of interpersonal communication, there are two keyweaknesses that the researcher made. These weaknesses reduce thecredibility of the research, its reliability, and generalizability ofthe findings. First, the study samples were selected using theintuition of the human resource manager. This reduced objectivity inthe research, implying that that sample teams could be assumed to befair representatives of the all work teams. Secondly, the researcherfailed to identify a clear theoretical framework to the guide theresearch. This reduces the credibility of the article as an academicresearch. However, the research is of great importance and a point ofreference for future research, in spite of these weaknesses.

Section3: Conclusion

Althoughthe research findings presented in the article indicated thatinterpersonal skills scores are not positively correlated with theteam’s performance, it is evident that interpersonal interactioninfluences teams’ performance. The capacity of the team leader tointeract with team members determines their performance at work. Inaddition, it is evident that all activities carried out in places ofwork constitute interpersonal communication and interactions. Despitethe fact that interpersonal skills scores do not explain performancedifferences the high performing teams scored higher in theinterpersonal communication skills compared to lower performingteams. This means that both the team leader and members of work teamsshould possess good interpersonal communication skills and capacityto interact with each other.


Pisani,M. (2012). The impact of team composition and interpersonalcommunication on perceived team performance: A case study. EuropeanJournal of Social Science,35 (3), 411-430.