Publications

For other national and international (scientific) publications by Ben Kuipers, see:

The power of high performance teams

Ben Kuipers & Sandra Groeneveld, Mediawerf Publishers, 2014

Collaborating with InternetSpiegel, the authors have researched a large number of teams. This led to the identification of six important ingredients of High Performance Teams. These are unique characteristics, distinguishing these teams from other teams. The book extensively describes these ingredients and it presents six excellent teams to serve as inspiration for others to achieve beautiful results.

The power of High Performance Teams is a valuable and an important supplementary factor in addition to available knowledge about working in teams. The study is aimed at the public sector, but the results are at least as relevant and applicable in business.

(in dutch only)

Strategic HRM in the public sector

Van Gorcum, 2013, second edition

Despite the great interest in Human Resource Management (HRM), there are hardly any books in the Dutch language area specifically paying attention to HRM in a public context. This fully revised edition of Strategic HRM in the Public Sector fills a gap from this strategic point of view.

In the Strategic Human Performance model, a link is made between the environment in which public organisations operate, the chosen HRM strategy and the corresponding HRM instruments. The effects of this on attitude and behaviour of employees and on the performance of the organisation are also described, and there is explicit attention to the link between HRM and change management. The usability of this model is backed with recent scientific theories and research.

(in dutch only)

Analyse, but measure responsibly

Essay in HRMagazine Blik Vooruit, May 2012, pp 24-25

It’s not just in these times of large cut-backs and economic slumps that special attention is necessary for the costs and profits of human resource management (HRM), both in public and private organisations. Even before these developments starting playing a role, critics doubted the slightly idealistic model of HRM. The golden age of the high-commitment HRM is partially over. Not that the high-commitment model is only interested in this kind of employee – a happy employee is a productive employee – but the best practice models and HRM gurus had claimed this though pattern a little too much.

(in dutch only)

New models of teamwork

Interview with Ben Kuipers (Performability and Erasmus Universiteit. Personeelbeleid, March 2011. pp. 34-37

In this interview with Personeelbeleid, Ben Kuipers, director of Performability and university teacher at Erasmus University Rotterdam, shares his vision on the changing role of teamwork. Autonomy and result-oriented teamwork will keep playing a valuable role in the future. But the borders of the team are increasingly blurred, and the collaboration is increasingly complex. This requires a different use of employees and supervisors.

(in dutch only)

The alliance as a learning school for collaboration

OTAR, Trade journal for managers and maintenance of infrastructure. Issue 1, 2001 pp 41-43.

These last years, a lot has changed in the building sector. Collaboration is a new key notion, but filling this in proves difficult. In the Alliance A2 Hooggeleden, the Performability Scan helped monitor the mutual collaboration. This made the basis for discussions about the collaboration process in the project organisation. David de Rooij (DHV) and Ben Kuipers (Performability) describe the learning experience, as well as three steps towards better collaboration for better results.

(in dutch only)

Collaboration must reach a higher level

Cobouw, 16 December 2010

Since the parliamentary survey about building fraud in 2002, there has been a search for ways to restore the trust between various partners. The word ‘collaboration’ is always mentioned in the discussion, but in practice, it’s difficult to give meaning to this, according to David de Rooij (DHV) and Ben Kuipers (Performability) in an article about the collaboration within the Alliance A2 Hooggelegen.

In the period 2008-2010, Performability researched the satisfaction of road travellers every quarter by order of Rijkswaterstaat for the Alliance A2 Hooggelegen, and it researched the collaboration with stakeholders once every year. Every half year, the internal team development within the project agency was evaluated using the Performability Scan.

(in dutch only)

Flygande holländara

Article (in Swedish) in Magazine of Volvo Lastvagnar Umea Hytten, no. 5, 2010, pp. 39

Ben Kuipers, who studied teamwork and performance at the Volvo plant in Umeå, visited the plant in December 2010 together with his colleagues from the Performability Network; Dennis Boutkan (Upstream Consulting), Jouko van der Mast (Onverharde Weg) and Peter Benkovic (Maxman Consultants). Esko Rajala (Erutveckling) is not on the picture.

Learning for Success

Project Management Institute, 2010

Peter Storm, Chantal Savelsbergh and Ben Kuipers (Performability) show how team learning helps to improve the performance of project teams. Based on a study of 38 project teams primarily working in engineering, construction and infrastructure, the authors discovered the importance of paying attention to the cooperation processes of project team members.

The study in which 245 project managers and project members participated demonstrates that the complexity of projects does not affect the performance of project teams directly. Rather it increases the role stress of project members in terms of ambiguity and overload. It is this kind of stress on team level that decreases the performance. However, learning behavior in teams, such as exploring, reflecting and feedback seeking, helps teams to significantly decrease the experienced role stress and at the same time improve the performance of projects.

It is this type of behavior that project teams need to be much more aware of and invest in from the project start-up until the project ending. Storm, Savelsbergh and Kuipers show the importance of leadership in this process and propose six steps to improve both learning and performing.

Strategic HRM in the public sector

Bram Steijn & Sandra Groeneveld (editors), Van Gorcum, 2009, First edition

A few employees of the Business Administration department of the Erasmus University at Rotterdam decided to write a unique book, aimed at HRM in the public sector. In this book, a link is created between the environment in which public organisations operate the chosen HRM strategy and the according HRM instruments, using the Strategic Human Performance model (SHP). The effects of this on attitude and behaviour of employees and on the performance of the organisation are also described, and there is explicit attention to the relation between HRM and change management. The usability of the model is backed with recent scientific theories and research.

Performability of Work Teams

International Journal of Performability Engineering. Vol. 5, No. 2, January 2009, pp. 143-151.

Peter Teamwork plays a vital role in today’s business environment, which is characterized by continual change and an increased demand for satisfaction by stakeholders. Teams can be understood as the basic units of an organization, as they are able to deliver improved business performance as well as improved quality of working life. This article shows the importance of balancing the implementation and development of teamwork in organizations (that is, the “soft” issues) with the improvement of “hard” performance.

Keywords: Teamwork, performance, industry, public sector, Performability-model.

Swedish collaboration

Management & Consulting issue 4, 2007

While line management is still popular in other places, car manufacturer Volvo developed working in teams. The attention for this ebbed away, but with the forming of a new management board in 1997, the model has returned. And new social problems and the demand for different leadership have as well. But it looks like a success. How ‘soft’ processes contribute to ‘hard’ results. Management and Consulting interviewed Peter Hertinge (Volvo) and Ben Kuipers (Performability) about their role in the team development at the factory of Volvo Trucks, located in Umeå, Sweden.

Searching queries: Volvo, car industry, semi-autonomous teams, company performance, development, leadership, Performability-model

(in dutch only)

Don’t just make agreements, meet them

Profiel, issue 6, September 2007

Jouko van der Mast (Upstream Consulting) and Ben Kuipers (Performability) are interviewed by Profiel about their learning study into teamwork and education renovation at ROC schools. If there is only little structured teamwork, and if the internal group relations are badly developed, the introduction of competence-oriented education is a lot more difficult than when the cooperation runs smoothly. This is shown in a study about educational teams of three regional educational centres (ROC schools). “You mustn’t just come to agreements; you must meet them as well.” The management board has a directing and developing task towards the teams, but falls short in this regard.

Searching queries: educational teams, education renovation, culture, management, teamwork

(in dutch only)

Supervisor wants to be liked too much

Daily newspaper De Pers, March 2007

Managers must offer more clarity and leadership if they want their teams to perform better. In this interview with De Pers, Ben Kuipers (Performability) speaks about the dilemmas with supervisors to teams, based on his research at Volvo Trucks in Sweden.

Searching queries: manager, leadership, teamwork, coaching, steering

(in dutch only)

Measure to manage

Personeelbeleid, issue 10, 2006 | Ben Kuipers & Gert Jan van Reenen

Teamwork occupies the minds of management advisors and business expert. A while back, the focus was on team spirit and inspiration, but today the costs/gains measure is the considered the most important one. The secret of successful teamwork, however, lies in the combination of the two. The ‘result-oriented development models for teams’ helps your organisation reach team success.

Searching queries: effective teams, organisational culture, result-oriented, monitoring, developing, performance measure, management advise

Promising model for the ideal team

Volvo Global Magazine, #2 2006

Does a model exist for composing an ideal team, in which everyone feels at home and everyone gets along with everyone, and which gets top results? According to Ben Kuipers, recently receiving his doctorate for his work on the subject of teamwork, the answer is yes. He has drafted the formula in the cabin factory of Volvo Trucks in Umeå.

Searching queries: Volvo, team development, team performance

(in dutch only)

Team development and team performance. Responsibilities, responsiveness and results: A longitudinal study of teamwork at Volvo Trucks Umeå

Ben. S. Kuipers, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 2005

A three-year longitudinal study of more than 150 self-managing work teams was carried out at Volvo Trucks Umea, Sweden. Data obtained by this study were used to test a model about the performance effects of team development, answering the following research questions: (1) how can the team developmental processes be described; (2) what are their effects on business performance as well as on quality of working life; and (3) what are the management structure’s inputs that generate team responsiveness?

The study reveals three team-development processes, consistent over time, and each positively related to both indicators of business performance and quality of working life. A result-oriented approach is suggested, which supports teams and managers in making work teams more succesful, while focusing on inputs, processes as well as outputs.