Richard Hackman's 'Five Factor Model' (2023)

In 2002, whilst working at Harvard, Richard Hackman developed a research-based model for designing and managing work groups.

Richard Hackman's 'Five Factor Model' (1)

His research looked at why some groups were successful and what it was that made them so. He identified three attributes that such groups possessed:

• They satisfy internal and external clients,
• They develop capabilities to perform in the future, and
• The members find meaning and satisfaction within the group.

He then went on to identify the conditions that can increase the chances of success for teams. This he called his 'Five Factor Model.'

Those five factors are:

1. Being a Real Team
2. Compelling Direction
3. Enabling Structure
4. Supportive Context
5. Expert Coaching

These phrases need to be defined so that you can see how in your management role you can influence the success of your team by ensuring these elements exist within the environment of your department.

Richard Hackman's 'Five Factor Model' (2)

(Video) Hackman & Oldham's Job Characteristics Model

Factor 1 - Being a Real Team
What does Hackman mean by 'being a real team'? The elements he said were required to ensure your team is 'a real team' are: the members have a shared task, the team boundaries clearly state who is inside or outside of the group, and the group membership is stable.

As a manager you will have direct control over the first two elements of what constitutes 'a real team', but it is the stability of the group members that is often the hardest aspect to control. If you are based in a project-type environment then it is probable that team stability will last only as long as the project.

If your team includes someone with a rare skill, even this level of stability may not be possible, as different project teams may vie for this scarce resource.

Instability within the team composition can also arise from the nature of the work. For example, managing within a call center environment is often plagued by a high rate of staff turnover due to the nature of the job and the fact that it often attracts transient individuals.

As a manager in this type of environment you will be able to minimize the inevitable disruption of staff turnover by developing an induction program that quickly integrates new recruits into the team.

Factor 2 - Compelling Direction
The second factor of this model is that of providing you team with a compelling direction. This means that you provide your team with clear goals, which are both challenging and consequential.

Richard Hackman's 'Five Factor Model' (3)

As a manager, whatever type of team you are responsible for, you have direct control over the goals you set your team. You can also ensure that you set SMART goals for your staff that motivate and reward them.

These SMART goals need to clearly state how the team contributes to the organization so that the team is aware of their own contribution to the overall mission.

(Video) Team Models - Hackman Team Effectiveness

Factor 3 - Enabling Structure
The structure that your team exists in is the third factor that Hackman cites as influential in making your team a success. Some of these aspects you will have control over, while others are going to be dictated by the type of organization you are in and your role within it.

Richard Hackman's 'Five Factor Model' (4)

Where possible, offering your team variety in the tasks they must complete improves the team's success. Examples might include small changes in task assignment if you are managing a call center team, or keeping the size of your team at a manageable level so that they are not too large and become unwieldy. Sometimes you may want to make small sub-groups within a large team so that the qualities of successful teams can be nurtured.

Within your team's structure you will also want to ensure that some of your key players have good social skills. This makes certain that persuasion and well-presented arguments rather than conflict forms the basis for decision making within the team. These social skills will also ensure that behavior is guided by strong norms.

Factor 4 - Supportive Context
The fourth quality required to ensure successful teams is that of support. A supportive context is essential for companies and organizations, as they are made up of small groups which when combined form a larger group.

Richard Hackman's 'Five Factor Model' (5)

This support framework is made up of three elements: reward, development, and information. The reward must be linked to the performance of the group or team. This system must be based upon rewarding the group's performance and cooperation.

The second element of the support must be the development of individual members' skills through an educational system. For many organizations this educational system is formed around the Appraisal System, and as a manager it is vital that you develop your skills in this area.

The third supportive element is connected to the provision of information and guaranteeing easy access to this data and materials. Your ability as a manager to ensure your team have access to the information and materials they need to develop their own skills is crucial.

(Video) Hackman's Authority Model explained by Sohrab Salimi

You can take advantage of the advances in communications technology (computers, noteBook s, eBook readers, and Smartphones , etc.) and the Internet. You will be able to guide your team to the best resources and information they require to develop their skills.

Factor 5 - Expert Coaching
This guidance leads into the finally aspect of the Five Factor Model, that of expert coaching and mentoring. Through the annual appraisal system and your day-to-day management of the team you are able to identify which members of your team require your help with a task, or help that individual develop their interpersonal skills.

Once this need has been identified you coach the person in how they can best meet this challenge and develop the skills they lack. You must be conscious not to be too overbearing in your manner, as this can seriously undermine the effectiveness of the team. The latter is a criticism that Hackman draws attention to in his research and it will significantly reduce the success of any team.

Most teams you encounter in the working world are likely to exhibit a mix of Tuckman's Four Stages and Hackman's Five Factor Model in their day-to-day operations.

As a manager it is useful to be able to identify the stage at which your group is operating and which of the five factors are present in your organization. By understanding the factors that motivate your team in this way you are better able to adapt your leadership style and behaviors to suit your current team.

You will encounter teams that are an almost permanent fixture, but in which individual members may come and go. Your role in this instance is to ensure that any new members are integrated into the pre-existing team as quickly as possible. This enables the team to continue to operate most effectively.

Other teams are more temporary in nature, often set up for a specific project. Frequently this type of team will be made up of individuals who are familiar with and have a great deal of experience of working in teams.

If you are managing this type of team you will facilitate the team to be a cohesive unit as they are likely to be very clear about each other's responsibilities. This means that the forming and storming stages will be more quickly resolved as the whole team is focused on its objective.

As your career progresses you will inherit teams with each new position, and being able to identify at which stage of development this new team is at will help you provide the correct level of support and guidance.

(Video) Hackman and Oldham The Job Characteristics Model

It is inevitable that at some point in your career you will come across a dysfunctional team that is locked into the storming stage and is unwilling to progress no matter what you do. In some instances the only way to handle such a team is to create sub-teams within this group so that each can work effectively and productively.

You can also ensure that the team environment is conducive to the attainment of goals and that sufficient support is available to individuals, with the addition of your coaching expertise as and when required. This Team Development Checklist shows you the behaviors your team requires you to exhibit during its four-stage development.

You may also be interested in:
How to Motivate Your Team | Bruce Tuckman's 'Stages for a Group' Theory | Richard Hackman's 'Five Factor Model'.

Key Points

  • Hackman's model suggests that groups are successful when they:
    o Satisfy internal and external clients,
    o Develop capabilities to perform in the future, and
    o Provide meaning and satisfaction in the group.
  • Setting your team and its members SMART goals will ensure that they have a clear focus for their activities.
  • Developing your appraisal management skills will enable you to ensure an appropriate team structure and provide a supportive environment in which your team can develop their own skills.

(Video) Theories of Motivation | Part 2 of 4: Job Characteristics Model


What is Hackman's five factor model? ›

Richard Hackman lays out five conditions necessary for successful teamwork: The team must be a real team, rather than a team in name only; it has compelling direction for its work; it has an enabling structure that facilitates teamwork; it operates within a supportive organizational context; and it has expert teamwork ...

What are the five conditions of team effectiveness? ›

The five conditions for team effectiveness
  • The team must be a real team.
  • It must have compelling direction.
  • It must have an enabling structure.
  • It operates within a supportive organisational context.
  • Its members benefit from competent coaching.

What are the main factors Hackman has identified that lead to effective teams? ›

Hackman proposed evaluating team effectiveness on three criteria: output, collaborative ability, and members' individual development. We have found that these criteria apply as well as ever and advise that leaders use them to calibrate their teams over time.

Which elements are part of Hackman's support framework? ›

This support framework is made up of three elements: reward, development, and information.

How can the Grpi model be used? ›

The GRPI model helps in team development and individual development, and to close performance gaps. When people have clear ideas about what they need to do and how to do it, they can perform at high levels. It helps clear up confusion and overlap.

Why is the team effectiveness model important? ›

Team effectiveness models are very important for an organization because they help team leaders identify specific elements that may be lacking in their team (or, in the case of Lencioni, are too prevalent) so they can focus on improving it.

What is the team effectiveness model? ›

What is a team effectiveness model? A team effectiveness model is a tool or framework to help businesses and leaders understand how well their teams function and improve team building, management, and training to ultimately boost performance and accomplish shared goals.

What team effectiveness model will make a team perform better? ›

Commitment – teams are committed when they have goals. Skills – team members need problem-solving, technical and interpersonal skills to perform. Accountability – team members must have mutual accountability to one another as well as individual accountability to one's own work.

What are the main factors that work team effectiveness is based on? ›

Accepting new challenges, a transparent working environment, and collective goals are some of the key factors that make a team an effective team. Members of an effective team have well-defined roles, are focused on their duties, try to support each other, and appreciate their contributions.

What is Hackman and Oldham Job Characteristics Model? ›

Hackman and Oldham's (1974) job characteristics model suggested that five core job dimensions affect certain personal and work related outcomes, including job satisfaction. The five core job dimensions identified are autonomy, feedback, skill variety, task identity, and task significance.

What do you think of the elements of successful teamwork Hackman has identified? ›

Answer: The key elements of a successful teamwork that was identify by Hackman was that he believes teams are likely to performance more effectively in a smaller group with regular members so that the group can have a better understanding of the different strengths and weaknesses of each members.

What are the four stages of group development? ›

These stages are commonly known as: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning.

What is a shared mindset? ›

A shared mindset is a common set of beliefs or values around who we are and why we are doing what we are doing. As teams struggle to overcome new found distance, fault lines can begin to emerge.

What is compelling direction? ›

One strategy is known as compelling direction. In other words, there must be a challenging, attainable, consequential, and consensus goal towards which a team is focused on. Let's break that definition down. The goal is challenging. This is because goals that aren't challenging are difficult to get motivated for.

What are 5 examples of team dynamics? ›

Examples of Team Dynamics
  • Open communication. When team members are willing to discuss issues and problems throughout a project.
  • Alignment. ...
  • Conflict resolution. ...
  • Commitment to the project. ...
  • Optimistic thinking.
17 Jul 2022

Who discovered models of teamwork? ›

The LaFasto and Larson Model

In 2001, Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson developed a team effectiveness model they coined 'Five Dynamics of Team Work and Collaboration'.

Why is Tuckman's model useful? ›

Significance of Tuckman's Model. The model explains how a team's maturity and ability develop and relationships establish as leadership style changes. Tuckman's model gives an understanding of how groups develop. It is helpful in training people for group work and works up to their full potential.

What does Grpi stand for? ›

Dick Beckhard, a well-known organizational theorist, developed the GRPI model—Goals, Roles, Processes, Interpersonal Relationships— to help diagnose the causes of team dysfunction.

Who invented Grpi model? ›

There are a number of team effectiveness models, but among the first and most enduring is the GRPI Model. Rubin, Plovnick and Fry introduced GRPI in the 1970s, positing that there are four components of an effective team: goals, roles, procedures, and interpersonal relationships.

Who created Grpi model? ›

One of our absolute favorites is the GRPI model – it was developed by organizational theorist Dick Beckhard in 1972 (!) and is still as valid and effective as it was back then – some things just don't change.

What is the best model of group development? ›

The Tuckman Team Model. “Tuckman's Stages of Group Development,” proposed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965, is one of the most famous theories of team development. It describes four stages that teams may progress through: forming, storming, norming, and performing (a 5th stage was added later: adjourning).

What are the five stages of team building? ›

Using the Stages of Team Development
  • Stage 1: Forming. Feelings. ...
  • Stage 2: Storming. Feelings. ...
  • Stage 3: Norming. Feelings. ...
  • Stage 4: Performing. Feelings. ...
  • Stage 5: Termination/Ending. Some teams do come to an end, when their work is completed or when the organization's needs change.

Which of the five factors that impact team effectiveness is the most important? ›

These are the five factors they found are essential to any high-performing team. The most important factor is “psychological safety,” a term coined by Harvard Professor Amy Edmonson. It affects organizational culture and team effectiveness.

What is the team leadership model? ›

The Team Leadership model creates an environment in which members are accountable not just to the coach, but to the team as a whole. If you are willing to give up some control, and believe that all team members can inspire each other, your team will reap the benefits.

How does a team model impact the organization? ›

“Team effectiveness models are simple ways to understand how a group of people working together can best accomplish their shared goals,” says leadership and management consultant Liz Wootton. “They provide insight into what people need to do their best work, and to work together to get the best from each other.

What are the four main elements of a successful team? ›

To establish an effective team – there are four essential elements: Goals, Roles, Interpersonal Relationships and Processes.

What is the five-factor model used for? ›

The Five Factor Model (FFM) is a model that assesses human personality and behavior. The five factors are: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

What are the 5 traits in the 5 factor model? ›

The traits that constitute the five-factor model are extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

What is the Big Five theory explain in brief? ›

The Big Five Model, also referred to as the Five-Factor Model, is a famous personality theory that describes personality as the play between five personality traits or factors. These factors or characteristics include openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion and neuroticism.

Why is the five-factor model important? ›

The Five Factor Model of personality can help curb counterproductive behavior. Employees deviate from acceptable workplace behavior when they engage in actions that harm the well-being of the individual or the organization.

What is the distinction between the five-factor model and the five-factor theory? ›

The five-factor model (FFM) is a taxonomy of traits; five-factor theory (FFT) is a theory of personality based on research with the FFM.

What is meant by the Big 5 personality factors? ›

Definition of Big Five Personality Traits:

The Five Factor Model breaks personality down into five components: Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Openness, and Stress Tolerance. Personality tests that are based on this model measure where an individual lies on the spectrum of each of the five traits.

How is the Big Five measured? ›

One popular option is called the Big Five inventory. This method uses your response to about 50 short statements or phrases. You'll be asked to agree or disagree, on a scale of 1 to 5, to each phrase. Based on your answers, your results will show you where you fall on a spectrum for each trait.

Who created the Big 5 model of personality? ›

Robert McCrae and Paul Costa went on to develop the Five-Factor Model (FFM), describing the personality in terms of five broad factors. Psychologist Lewis Goldberg used the term the 'Big Five' and developed the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP), the first psychometric test.

Who invented the Big 5 model? ›

Originally developed in 1949, the big 5 personality traits is a theory established by D. W. Fiske and later expanded upon by other researchers including Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987).

What are the five factors in the Five-Factor Model quizlet? ›

  • Extraversion.
  • Agreeableness.
  • Neuroticism.
  • Openness to experience.
  • Conscientiousness.

What are the limitations of the Five Factor Model? ›

These are the model's (a) inability to address core constructs of personality functioning beyond the level of traits; (b) limitations with respect to the prediction of specific behavior and the adequate description of persons' lives; (c) failure to provide compelling causal explanations for human behavior and ...

What is a common criticism of the Big Five model? ›

A common criticism of the Big Five is that each trait is too broad. Although the Big Five is useful in terms of providing a rough overview of personality, more specific traits are required to be of use for predicting outcomes (John & Srivastava, 1999).

How reliable is the Big Five personality test? ›

The Big Five Personality Test is by far the most scientifically validated and reliable psychological model to measure personality. This test is, together with the Jung test (MBTI test style) and the DISC assessment, one of the most well known personality tests worldwide. This free personality test is fast and reliable.


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