Developing Cooperative Teams to Support Individual Performance and Well-Being in a Call Center in China

Dean Tjosvold, Nancy Yifeng Chen*, Xu Huang, Da Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The theory of cooperation and competition, though developed in the West, may be useful to develop and analyze productive teamwork in China. Three hundred and sixty-eight employees from a call center participated in a cooperative teamwork 1-day workshop followed by daily practice. Results support the hypothesis that cooperative teams strengthen relationships, reduce turnover, and improve productivity of individual team members. During the 2-month period, team members increased the number of phones answered by nearly 40%, reduced customer complaints by over 55%, and lowered the turnover by over 20%, while the control call centers had either minor increases or decreases in these measures. These results support that the theory of cooperation and competition can guide the development of effective teams in China and that cooperative teams can improve the performance of individual employees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-348
Number of pages24
JournalGroup Decision and Negotiation
Issue number2
Early online date7 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

User-Defined Keywords

  • Call center
  • China
  • Cooperative teamwork
  • Stress management
  • Workplace quality


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