Snyder, S. J. (1994). Task strategy development during transition to self-managing work teams. Dissertation Abstracts International, B55/06, 2429.

The introduction of individuals into a team-strategy development setting has one major inherent problem, the habitual routines of the members.

A self-management configuration did not appear to provide protection from the dysfunctional consequences of the habitual routines ("personal inertia"). Neither difficult goals nor process instructions were effective in overcoming this obstacle. However, difficult goals and process instructions were better than no instructions but still did not reach significance. The only factor that was related to breaking the habitual routine obstacle was the aggregate ability of the individual team members.

It was concluded that the process for instituting new routines in the face of the habitual ones brought into the setting comprised:

The new information orients the group to a new challenge and makes habitual routines less appropriate.

Implication. Old habits are hard to break even in group situations. The best strategy for changing this personal inertia is to create tasks where new information has to be learned and processed correctly. Thus, the goals will be difficult and the task will require attention to new information not old habits.

When changes have to be made in team situations, the changes will likely be achieved if the task is presented in a new or different form, requires adaptation through learning and executing new elements, and is agreed upon by all members of the group. If this is not done, it will not be long before the group returns to its "old" habits making the coach's efforts to produce change and reorientation ineffective.

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