As a team-building group facilitator, this is a question I am often asked: do team-building programs work?
I could point to dozens of examples which demonstrate the efficacy of adventure-based teambuilding programs, and the impact they appear to have on individuals and groups. However, almost all of it is anecdotal. Interesting, but not particularly scientific.
Here’s one study that points to the usefulness of spending some time building the team skills of your group to help boost their performance.
The research was conducted by Dr Mark Springston (Virginia Tech) in 2004, and the results supported his hypothesis that investing a short period of time teaching teams skills through team-building games helps teams perform at considerably higher levels (than if they did not receive the team-skills training.)
Check it out. The engineering task the small teams had to perform (building a bridge out of balsa wood which spanned 12″) is interesting enough to read.