Team ground rules: Their nature and functions

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Arménio Rego, Ace Volkmann Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teams are complex relational systems. Effective team functioning depends on members willingness to coordinate and work together. Ground rules play a fundamental but frequently ignored role in this process. We define ground rules as the mutual agreements informally established by members to regulate team functioning. These agreements may subsequently be rendered formal or explicit. The nature and functions of ground rules (including as social-normative tools for handling paradoxes) are discussed, as well as the forms/types they assume. Rules for setting ground rules, as well as the role team leaders may play in facilitating the emergence of effective ground rules are also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100933
JournalOrganizational Dynamics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Ground rules
  • Team coordination
  • Team paradoxes
  • Teams
  • Types of ground rules


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