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Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong (SAGE Series in Interpersonal Communication) [Paperback]

Carl Larson , Frank M J LaFasto
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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TeamWork: What Must Go Right / What Can Go Wrong TeamWork: What Must Go Right / What Can Go Wrong
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Book Description

August 1, 1989 0803932901 978-0803932906 1
What are the secrets of successful teams? Why do some teams achieve remarkable success while others fail or are consigned to mediocrity? To find the answers, Larson and LaFasto interviewed a wide range of teams, including the space shuttle Challenger investigation team and executive management teams, and discovered a surprising consistency in the characteristics of effective teams. The authors explore the eight properties of successful teams and examine priorities in building a high-performance team.

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Editorial Reviews


"Team Work is one of the best and most concise handbooks on team management around. No one interested in teamwork should miss reading this guide." 

(The Learning Edge)

About the Author

Carl Larson, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Human Communication and past dean of Social Sciences at the University of Denver. His most recent work includes When Teams Work Best (Sage 2001), Successful Communication and Negotiation, and Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference. Larson consults in both the public and private sector. He received the Driscoll Master Educator Award given by the students at the University of Denver to the university’s outstanding professor. 

Frank LaFasto, Ph.D., recently retired as Senior Vice President of Organization Effectiveness after 30 years with Cardinal Health, Inc., a multinational health care company. An internationally recognized author and lecturer on management issues, Frank has more than 35 years’ experience helping organizations build and sustain successful teams.  Frank has written two best-sellers on the subject: Teamwork and How Teams Work Best, co-authored by Carl Larson.  He currently consults with private and public sector organizations to help them build effective teams, lead critical change initiatives, and develop executive talent. Frank resides in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Product Details

  • Series: SAGE Series in Interpersonal Communication (Book 10)
  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; 1 edition (August 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803932901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803932906
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-shelf book on teams. A foundation text. May 14, 1999
By A Customer
Larson and LaFasto put their outstanding research into easy-to-understand language. The book is foundation reading for executives and team members who want to understand the key variables that spell success for teams. And it's an easy-reading 138 pages presented so anyone (5th grade reading level!) can understand their findings. I know the authors, and have the utmost respect for their scientific methodology and experience. We use the matching team/ leadership assessment and training program to help client organizations plan, build, and fix their teams. Really an excellent reader, and a foundation of our consulting practice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A enjoyable and useful book September 19, 2001
By A Customer
These authors studied all different sorts of teams (everything from a Mount Everest expedition and a Notre Dame championship football teams to the group that invented Chicken McNuggets) in order to determine what they had in common. The book is highly readable and describes eight common principles that could be implemented to improve the function of any team. It is also full of interesting comments and stories from the study. I highly recommend the book for any team member (not only managers) since the book also clearly describes how the individal can influence the success of the entire team.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rational Approach to Teamwork December 13, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's an enormous amount of reading material on teams and teamwork and this book is one of the best. Its highly rational approach condenses studies of high performing teams. The authors found eight common characteristics and explain in enough detail why they are important. They include excerpts from the leaders and teams they have studied. They also state that the two most common reasons for team failure are politics and personal agendas. They include a quote from Duke Drake: "The minute the politicians take over and start worrying about what's in it for me, you're dead in the water."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teamwork: What Must Go Right / What Can Go Wrong July 16, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have purchased several copies of TEAMWORK over the years. Most recently as a gift for a client who is the VP of HR in a large manufacturing company. I have found this study of teamwork to be the best and most practical discussion of what it really takes to make a team successful that I have come across in my 20 years as an executive coach. My clients are very interested in how to build more effective teams, and want to know what really works and what doesn't. The discoveries of Carl Larson and Frank LaFasto in their years of research have proven to be of great value to dozens of team I have coached - from small family-owned enterprises to Fortune 500 companies. For example, knowing that no team is likely to survive for long without a clear elevating goal, standards of excellence, and competent team members has been a critical initial lesson in many cases. And recognizing that early indications of a team in decline includes team members beginning to loose their unified commitment and when the collaborative climate fades - these insights have also proven to be of great value to many of the teams I have assisted. I have not found a clearer, more comprehensive explanation of how and why effective teams develop than Larson and LaFasto's presentation of the crucial eight characteristics.
Kenton R. Hill, CMC
Principal Consultant
KRH Consulting
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! June 10, 2009
By E. Sung
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This a great book about teamwork. I have many books but this is the most academic and yet useful book that I have found. I highly recommend this if you want to understand how to build a system of teamwork. It is the best book I have found out there on this subject.
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