Mapping Team Dynamics through Retrospective Team Events Analysis

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There is an increasing scholarly focus on how and why team dynamics develop over time. However, most of the used data-collection tools tend to be time-intensive and prone to biases. Hence, we developed Retrospective Team Events and Affect Mapping (R-TEAM): A longitudinal mixed-methods approach that yields a validated map of a team’s past events linked to affective team states. This paper illustrates, with an actual case, how the R-TEAM approach uses five well-known social-scientific methods: 1) the focus group method; 2) the life story interview; 3) the critical incidents technique; 4) visual elicitation and mapping; and 5) the survey method. Employing all five methods in a deliberate order, or ‘process of inquiry’, can curb the known limitations of each single method if used independently. R-TEAM can especially contribute to the systematic study of team dynamics because team-level data are collected and analysed through multiple means of stimulating recall among its members. Moreover, the R-TEAM approach stimulates team learning (via its inclusive and reflective orientation) and compared to prospective longitudinal approaches, it is less researcher-time consuming. The R-TEAM approach could particularly serve engaged scholarship, thereby enriching practically relevant theorizing on the time-sensitive and often fleeting team dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalThe International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Early online date6 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • team dynamics
  • process studies
  • retrospective longitudinal research design
  • qualitative mixed methods
  • group interview
  • visual research methods


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