Do behaviors of string quartet ensembles represent self-managed teams?

Malka Tal-Shmotkin, Avi Gilboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper aims to explore whether string quartets (SQs) adopt self-managed-team (SMT) principles in line with organizational models of team work. This exploration is significant in face of the status of the SQ as one of the leading and prototypical ensembles in Western music. Design/methodology/approach: Members of 22 leading SQs around the world were contacted and asked to fill out a questionnaire which measures SMT characteristics in managerial teams while referring to their own SQ ensemble. Findings: Results showed that SMT levels of all SQs were extremely high (M=4.39, SD =0.39, on a 1 to 5 scale). In addition, four factors were revealed in this questionnaire: Interpersonal relations and shared monitoring, Leadership, Management style, and Resources explaining 18.4, 15.9, 14.2, and 11.9 percent of the variance, respectively. Research limitations/implications: The current sample is limited in size and may not adequately represent professional SQs worldwide. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that SQs actually work as SMTs. Additionally, the SMT frame of SQs is expressed in distinct factors of characteristics. Originality/value: The current study is one of a few investigations that examined descriptions of SQ members about behaviors in their own musical ensembles. This study suggests that successful SQs may serve as a benchmark for various SMTs in organizational settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
Number of pages15
JournalTeam Performance Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Organizational unit
  • Self managed learning
  • Self-managing teams
  • String quartet
  • Team working


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