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The Belbin's Theory also called as "The Belbin Team Inventory" It is an assessment
used to gain insight into an individual's behavioural tendency in a team environment. It
is the theory made to measure preference for the nine team roles discovered while
studying the numerous teams. Belbin carried out extended observational research to
determine which factors influenced team failure or success. A management game was
designed to reproduce work life. It contained all the principal variables that explain the
problems of decision-making in a business environment.
The different type of Team roles that are involved in Belbins Theory are as follows:
Plant: Plants are creative, unorthodox and a generator of ideas. If an innovative
solution to a problem is needed, a Plant is a good person to ask. Multiple Plants in a
team can lead to conflicts, as many ideas are generated without sufficient solutions to
follow the ideas through to action.
Resource investigator: the main role of resource investigator is to lead and support
the team at the start of the project by pursuing contacts and opportunities. A good
Resource Investigator is a maker of possibilities and an excellent networker, but has a
tendency to lose momentum towards the end of a project and to forget small details.
Co-Ordinator: A co-ordinator is a likely candidate for the chairperson of the team. The
Co-ordinator clarifies decisions, helping everyone else focus on their tasks.
Coordinators are sometimes perceived to be manipulative, and will tend to delegate all
work, leaving nothing but the delegating for them to do.
Shaper: The Shaper is a task-focused individual who pursues objectives with vigour
and who is driven by nervous energy and the need to achieve - for the Shaper, winning
is the name of the game. The Shaper is committed to achieving ends and will ‘shape’
others into achieving the aims of the team.
Monitor Evaluator: Monitor Evaluators are fair and logical observers and judges of
what is going on in the team. Since they are good at detaching themselves from bias,
they are often the ones to see all available options with the greatest clarity and
impartiality. They take a broad view when problem-solving, and by moving slowly and
Team worker: They are good listeners and diplomats, talented at smoothing over
conflicts and helping parties understand one other without becoming confrontational.
Implementer: The Implementer takes their colleagues suggestions and ideas and turns
them into positive action. They are efficient and self-disciplined, and can always be
relied on to deliver on time. They are motivated by their loyalty to the team or company,
which means that they will often take on jobs everyone else avoids or dislikes.
Completer Finisher:
The Completer Finisher is a perfectionist and will often go the extra mile to make sure
everything is "just right," and the things he or she delivers can be trusted to have been
double-checked and then checked again.
Specialists are passionate about learning in their own particular field. As a result, they
are likely to be a fountain of knowledge and will enjoy imparting this knowledge to
others. They also strive to improve and build upon their expertise.

Limitations of Belbin's theory:

Belbin's role represent tasks and functions in the self-management of the activities in a
team, and are not personality types or thinking preferences.
In larger projects the team activities are likely to be grouped into team processes.
There may be more than one plant needed to bring ideas and perspective in to the
Belbin’s theory does not take in to account hierarchical relations between people.
In the team certain people may not like each other, so there may be conflicts in the
team to reach or achieve a goal, or they may be unable to work together in team.

A private critic criticised stating that Belbin's test may predict future behaviour and
address behavioural weaknesses; it does so by relying on the premise that the subject's
social setting will remain unchanged.
Belbin provides the case study in which a young executive is referred between
departments to find an ideal fit and in each exit report, the young executive's behaviour
was found to have changed. In other words, the subject experienced different social
settings and responded to each with different behaviours.

Furnham and his colleagues understood Belbin’s theory as one in which the various
team roles that individuals fulfil in a team and the team’s ability to function effectively is
dependent on the team’s composition (Furnham et al, 1993). Furnham et al (1993)
subsequently carried out three studies to verify the psychometric properties of Belbin’s
questionnaire as they harboured uncertainty about its reliability and validity. From their
study, Furnham et al (1993) arrived at three conclusions with regard to the Belbin.
These are:
The test was measuring you against yourself.
The sequence in which the questions were asked was too broad therefore losing
specific focus on groups, and
The measure was neither theoretically nor empirically derived.

Belbin’sTeam Role Model which has added to the body of knowledge surrounding
organisational management and hence the performance of teams. Belbin’s theory has
become one of the most widely used instruments today by identifying eight key roles which
contribute to creating an effective team working environment.
Whilst Belbin’s team role model is widely accepted and acknowledged amongst leading
practitioners and insights to the theory are explored, Furnham et al (1993) pointed out
criticisms of Belbin’s team effectiveness instrument suggesting that organisations should be
mindful of utilising the instrument because of the aforementioned flaws.