Publication Date


Document Type



Library and Information Science


Objectives: The objective of this study is to apply J. Richard Hackman's framework on team effectiveness to academic medical library settings.

Methods: The study uses a qualitative, multiple case study design, employing interviews and focus groups to examine team effectiveness in three academic medical libraries. Another site was selected as a pilot to validate the research design, field procedures, and methods to be used with the cases. In all, three interviews and twelve focus groups, with approximately seventy-five participants, were conducted at the case study libraries.

Findings: Hackman identified five conditions leading to team effectiveness and three outcomes dimensions that defined effectiveness. The participants in this study identified additional characteristics of effectiveness that focused on enhanced communication, leadership personality and behavior, and relationship building. The study also revealed an additional outcome dimension related to the evolution of teams.

Conclusions: Introducing teams into an organization is not a trivial matter. Hackman's model of effectiveness has implications for designing successful library teams.

Rights and Permissions

This article was first published in Journal of the Medical Library Association, J Med Libr Assoc. 2006 July; 94(3): 271–278. Copyright is retained by the author.


Journal of the Medical Library Association, J Med Libr Assoc. 2006 July; 94(3): 271–278,

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA

Related Resources

Based on the doctoral dissertation of the same name; link to record in Library Catalog for print version of dissertation.

PubMed ID