The lion’s share of collaborative work tends to fall on women. This, according to academic researchers who add that up to a third of value-added collaborations come from about 3% of employees.
Teams are composed of individual members who collectively contribute to team success. As a result, contemporary team research tends to focus on how team overall properties (e.g., the average of team personality and behavior) affect team processes and effectiveness while overlooking the potential unique influences of specific members on team outcomes.
Drawing on minority influence theory (Grant & Patil, 2012), we extend previous teams research by demonstrating that an extra miler (i.e., a team member exhibiting the highest frequency of extra-role behaviors in a team) can influence team processes and, ultimately, team effectiveness beyond the influences of all the other members. Specifically, based on a field study, we report that the extra miler’s behavioral influences (i.e., helping and voice) on team monitoring and backup processes and team effectiveness are contingent on his or her network position in the team, such that the member tends to have stronger influence on team outcomes when he or she is in a central position. We also find that even a single extra miler in a vital position plays a more important role in driving team processes and outcomes than do all the other members.
Therefore, APA research offers an important contribution to the team literature by demonstrating the disproportionate influences of specific team members on team overall outcomes.