Not Always Helpful: Linking Intrateam Helping Types to Team Effectiveness From a Role Theory Perspective

Sang Hoon Lee, Yihao Liu, Jaclyn Koopmann, Jee Young Seo, Le Zhou, Yangyi Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing research on intrateam helping has predominantly taken a positive view on its impact on teams, overlooking the potential negative consequences that helping may elicit. To account for divergent implications of intrateam helping, we differentiate two types of helping that can manifest during teamwork: team autonomous helping and team dependent helping. Integrating this dual-type view of helping with a role theory perspective on teamwork, we propose a theoretical model that delineates the relationships among team goal orientations, two types of intrateam helping, team role-based functions (i.e., team role overload, team role coordination, and team role breadth self-efficacy), and team effectiveness. To test our model, we conducted two multi-wave survey studies, including 110 student project teams (Study 1) and 80 manufacturing teams in a pharmaceutical company (Study 2). Overall, the results showed that team autonomous helping benefited team role-based functions and ultimately team effectiveness, whereas team dependent helping hindered them. We also found that team learning goal orientation drove the occurrence of team autonomous helping in both studies, while team performance goal orientation drove team dependent helping in Study 1. By distinguishing between autonomous and dependent types of intrateam helping, and examining their unique motivational roots and divergent implications for teams, this research advances the extant literature by providing a more balanced account of the nature of helping in teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1536-1568
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024


  • intrateam helping
  • team autonomous helping
  • team dependent helping
  • team goal orientation
  • team role-based functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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