While academic and practitioner literatures have proposed that extraverts are at an advantage in team-based work, it remains unclear exactly what that advantage might be, how extraverts attain such an advantage, and under which conditions. Theory highlighting the importance of energy in the coordination of team efforts helps to answer these questions. We propose that extraverted individuals are able to develop more energizing relationships with their teammates and as a result are seen as proactively contributing to their team. However, problems in coordination (i.e., team task conflict) can reverse this extraversion advantage. We studied 27 project-based teams at their formation, peak performance, and after disbandment. Results suggest that when team task conflict is low, extraverts energize their teammates and are viewed by others as proactively contributing to the team. However, when team task conflict is high, extraverts develop energizing relationships with fewer of their teammates and are not viewed as proactively contributing to the team. Our findings regarding energizing relationships and team task conflict clarify why extraversion is related to proactive performance and in what way, how, and when extraverts may be at a (dis)advantage in team-based work.
Available for download on Monday, October 01, 2018