Thursday, December 5, 2019
Work Groups and Teams in Organizations
Question: Discuss about the Work Groups and Teams in Organizations. Answer: Introduction Work is a group activity which requires co-operation among members for effective functioning of the organization. Groups are an important factor of any company. A group is a number of people who communicates with each other and are psychologically aware of each other and consider them to be a group. A team is formed when a number of people have a common goal to achieve and their personal success is dependent on others. A tension and counter-balance of human behavior need to be shown in the team. People in a team showcase individual skills which are different from each other (Kolb 2013). Literature Review A group can be formal and informal. Formal groups are formed to achieve an organizational objective and co-ordinate work activities. The objectives are identified by the management and certain rules, norms and relations are formed. Informal groups are formed to maintain personal relationship and agreement. People serve to fulfill their social needs and psychological needs not necessary related to the work. Individuals form a group or team for various reasons (Kozlowski 2012). Particular tasks can be performed only by a group of people or by a team. A team or a group provides individual to showcase their skills and take initiative and create new ideas. Individual gets support from their colleague to form a mutual understanding. The team member expects every individual to follow rules and regulations set by the team leader. A person joins a group or team to protect their interest from outside threat (de Wit 2015). Bass and Ryterband have identified four different stages in group development; mutual acceptance and relationship, communication and decision-making, motivation and productivity and control and organization. An alternative model by Tuckman identifies five levels of group relationship and development (Thrmer, Wieber and Gollwitzer 2015). Forming- This stage is the initial formation of the group. Hierarchical structure, leadership pattern, individual roles and responsibilities and codes of conduct is considered. At this stage members try to create a great impression and form personal identity within the group. Storming- After the members get to know each other, they start expressing their agreements and disagreements on the task and arrangements made at the development stage. Norming- The members start forming guidelines and standards and form their own norms of acceptable behavior. This stage is important to create the need of members to coordinate for planning, agree standard of performance and fulfill purpose of the group. Performing- When a group progress, it creates structure and cohesiveness to work effectively as a team. Adjourning- This refers to disbanding of the group due to completion of task, members leaving the group. Some people lose interest in the project characterized by anxiety and sadness. Characteristics of an effective work group are:- A belief in shared aims and objectives Commitment to the group Accepting group value and norms A feeling of mutual trust and dependency Participation by all members in decision-making Free flow of information and communication Expressing feelings and disagreements Resolution of conflict by the members themselves Low level of staff turnover, accidents, errors and complaints A person should behave and perform as a member which is as important as their behavior or performance as an individual. Peace working relationship and good teamwork help make for a high level of staff morale and work performance. Effective teamwork is a vital feature to practice modern management like group management, total quality management, etc. Teamwork management is the important characteristic in certain sectors like hospitality sector which has direct influence on customer relationship and customer satisfaction (Peterson and Kim 2012). Teamwork basically involves reorganization of the way work is done. Teamwork increase competitiveness by:- Improvement in productivity Continuous innovation and quality improvement Taking advantage of technological opportunities Improvement in employee motivation and commitment Teamwork is a necessity and not an option for any company. This leads to creativity, achievement, success and energy level that someone working alone or working with one another person. The aim of teamwork is:- To take the best decision, not just a conclusion or easy decision. The ultimate responsibility of the team leader is to check the quality of the decision taken and quality of the team-thinking effort which led to the decision. To get the best professional team-thinking, the team leader must ensure that office politics, egoistic behavior and ignoring ideas must be avoided at any cost. The team-thinking professionals must ensure to answer the best questions, clearly and completely formulated. The process of team-thinking is not linear, it is iterative. Thus, the question can be altered later and same process can be repeated. The leader needs to keep a track on the sufficient alternatives and their forecasted results which is developed for assessment by the team. The ream leader will ask about other alternatives. He just not wants an answer. The leader realized to listen and seek ideas wisely of the team before expressing his or her ideas and preferences. In any professional team-thinking effort, more ideas should be created than used. But an idea rejected will remain rejected with respect and courtesy with clear explanation of rejection. This behavior is considered smart and decent. A reward equation and a probability of success calculation will be made explicitly before any important decision is taken. After a decision is made by the professional team, it should be implemented professionally. What leaders think should be taken into action. High technology and service businesses require teamwork. Task forces, project teams and committees are important elements in the workplace. If groups are successful and perform effectively, a spirit of unity and cooperation arise. The different behaviours of the team members must mix properly to work in a team successfully and achieve objectives. People are required to behave in a certain way, to concentrate on the work at hand, people to provide special knowledge and problem solvers. A team needs a checker who can make sure that everything is going well and the entire team is contributing. Most of the things to understand about group work is applied equally to both decision-making groups and teams but some issues may arise between different groups (Robbins and Judge 2012). Diagnostic tools Belbins team role inventory is developed by Meredith Belbin which analyze individual roles within a work group or team. Initially Belbin recognized eight types of contribution to the team. But now it is nine (Hollingshead and Poole 2012). Role Contribution description Allowable weaknesses Plant Creative, unorthodox, problem-solver Ignores details, occupied to communicate effectively Resource Investigator Enthusiastic, communicative, find opportunities Over-optimistic, loss interest once enthusiasm is lost Co-ordinator Confident, clarifies objectives, good decision-maker, delegator Manipulative, offloads personal task Shaper Challenging, dynamic, overcome obstacles Provoke others, hurts other sentiments Monitor-Evaluator Sober, strategic, judges accurately Lacks drive and ability to influence other people Teamworker Co-operative, diplomatic, good listener Indecisive in crunch situations. Implementer Disciplined, reliable, initiate practical actions Not flexible, respond slowly to new opportunities Completer Painstaking, anxious, delivers on time Inclined to worry unduly. Reluctant to delegate. Specialist Single-minded, dedicated, knowledgeable Contributes on only a narrow front. Dwells on technicalities. Table 1- Belbins Team role inventory This theory is a popular mode of examining and comparing team roles. Belbin has designed a Self-Perception Inventory designed to provide members of a group with a simple means of entering best team roles (Turner 2014). The Johari Window is a framework to look at self-insight to help people in the T-group process. The main feature of the T-group behavior is reducing a persons individual hidden behavior through self-disclosure and reduction of the blind behavior through feedback from others. A T-group is an approach to human relations training which talks about speaking, provide participants with various opportunities to learn more about themselves and their effect on others and learn how face obstacles (Haslam et al. 2014). Table 2- The Johari Window Hidden behavior- It is that behavior which an individual avoids or never communicate to other group members. It is a hidden or private part of an individual. An important task of the group is to whether a member communicates too less or too much about themselves to others. Blind area- The blind area is a behaviour which is known to others but unknown to self. The blind area includes gestures, manners and voice tone representing behavior of the impact on others the individual is unaware. It is also known as bad-breath area. Members must establish an environment of trust and openness to reduce hidden and blind behaviours and the public behavior is enhanced (Hinds 2015). Brainstorming also known as cloud bursting or thought showers involves adopting freewheeling attitude and generate as many ideas as possible. It includes exercise to generate ideas as much as possible. It encourages members to remove judgement, assume that creative thinking is best encouraged by group members and increase production. The quantity will lead to quality ideas. There are various process of brainstorming. It is based on freedom of expression with a relaxed and informal method. More emphasis is given on quantity of ideas generated. Group size is generally six to ten people. No ideas are rejected of any individual and are encouraged to elaborate on the ideas with no evaluation and feedback. This exercise is used to compare individual and group/team based performance (Egolf and Chester 2013). Table 3: Creative Thinking Areas for Improvement Individual satisfaction and Organization performance derived have a great impact by the communication taking place among the group members. Thus, members should work together not as an individual but as a team and maintain the spirit of unity and co-operation. One of the popular analysis is developed by Belbin who suggest nine important contributions or key roles for creating successful groups. The interaction level is impacted by the channel of communication used. The five main types of communication network are wheel, circle, all channel, Y and chains. To influence the operation and functioning of the group, it is important to study the behavior of individual group members (Rosenthal 2014). Groups and teams are essential feature for any organization. But there should be a balance of respect for all the members. It is rewarding to work in a group but also potentially demanding experience for the individual. To improve the performance of the company, it is important to understand the nature of the human relationships and what happens when a group of people meet together. This is where Johari window is applied to get to know about the hidden behaviour and blind area of an individual. It is difficult to draw any comparison about individual performance. Group decision making provides a number of advantage but can be adversely effected by the risky-shift phenomenon and groupthink (Hillier and Dunn-Jensen 2012). Brainstorming is an initiative to help a group produce more problem-solving ideas. However, doubts appear about the impact of brainstorming over an individual working under same conditions. Interest in group study and team has led to advancement of training process aimed at improving communication skills and self-insight. Attention is given to autonomous work groups. Quality circles are a potential medicine to group problem-solving, creativity and innovation (Barsade and Gibson 2014). Building successful team is important for any organization in this modern world. It is important to take into account various factors including behavior and character of a member, social skills and relationship among the group members and effective leadership emphasizing on clear interaction and trust. The work of a management is to oversee the development of team and give support and training which is necessary. Self-regulation is necessary to realize the potential of teamworking. A team will always need a degree of management direction. The need for continuous development and improvement is necessary for effective teamwork (Cronin 2015). The introduction of teamworking is an important step to be taken by the organization. It is important to ensure that management and employees of the organization contribute to their business strategy and aim for long term transformation of the company. The challenge and excitement of establishing teams may fade and it is easy for an organization to accept a certain level of performance which is less optimum. To achieve high performance, teams require challenges and changes regularly. This include changes in team personnel, new work, re-assessment of the contribution the team member makes to the company objectives and ensure teams have regular dealings with the other teams. Teamworking is not a finite task but a continuous improvement and innovation process (Armstead et al. 2016). 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