Think for a moment about the group of people you would describe as your "team." These may be frequent co-authors, other teachers at your school, administrative staff with whom you work daily, etc. For me, for example, this "team" is the HASTAC staff.
Now imagine going through a list of your "teammates," and assigning a numeric value to the degree to which you are interdependent on one another. Do you provide information or materials which are necessary for them to do their job? To what extent are the tasks you each do related? Now imagine that everyone in the group does a similar exercise, quantifying their own relationship to everyone else.
According to research from Jonathon Cummings of -Duke's Fuqua Business school, you are likely to overestimate the degree to which others on your team depend on you! At a talk hosted by the Duke Network Analysis Center, Dr. Cummings shared a current project which explored this "centrality bias."
There are many reasons that this type of bias could be bad for an organization. It tends to make groups more difficult to manage and creates friction when different facets of a project are integrated into a final product. Dr. Cummings' research suggests, fortunately, that there are several factors that reduce this self-misperception. People in leadership roles and people who spend more of their time on a project tend to be less biased in their evaluations, as do pairs of individuals who have known each other for longer periods of time, or who work in close physical proximity.
Dr. Cummings also made the very salient point that many aspects of this type of research have been explored by one discipline or another, but that there is very little work that integrates these findings across fields. Specifically, network researchers have found that people are generally quite poor at reporting how frequently they interact with others in their network, and there is a good literature on the task interdependence and labor re-integration. There is also a lot of very interesting work in psychology on cognitive and motivational biases -- individuals tend to overestimate their own importance, and attribute success to their own actions, but failures to their environment (See this interesting review in Science).
Dr. Cummings' work brings these research threads together in an interesting way, producing important research questions and generating even more captivating answers.