Group dynamics 5 questions

A minimum of 1,000 words (total assignment) and three scholarly sources with in text citations. Please use the book provided as the main source. 1. List and discuss five basic conditions that distinguish a team from a workgroup. Name and describe each condition.
2. List and discuss three common problems that hinder a team’s performance.
3. List and discuss three conditions that are essential to a team’s success.
4. List and describe five types of skills associated with ideal team members.
5. Throughout this unit we have looked at theories and suggestions related to building a team. Discuss a time when you were a part of building a team. What type of team was it? What were the strengths, weaknesses, successes and problems that you encountered? What are some things you would do again and what would you do differently the next time?
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Working in Teams
Moving From High Potential to High Performance
F
I
Brian A.N
Griffith
Peabody College, Vanderbilt
University
D
L
Ethan B. Dunham
E
Human Capital Performance
Partners
Y
,
S
A
R
A
5
3
1
9
B
U
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C H A P T E R
1
Introduction to Teams
F
I
Working in teams to solve problemsNDand achieve collective goals is a common experience for many. While teams can achieve extraordinary results, they can also deteriorate
into an ineffective and immobilized group
L of frustrated individuals. This chapter introduces
the concept of teams and describes common team problems as well as the conditions that
are associated with team success. As E
individuals join together and build trust, groups
develop a shared identity and a common
Y purpose as they progress through predictable
stages of development. Team leaders that understand those stages are able to facilitate
,
growth. The chapter concludes with a look at the current trends in team research.
S
A
Alternative Spring Break (ASB) began at Vanderbilt University
in 1986, when four students decided to form a
R
team and spend their spring vacation together serving others. Although they had the best of intentions, being with
A
CASE 1.1: ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK
a group of friends under stressful conditions for a week can be quite a challenge. Under duress, the very best of
human nature comes out and the very worst of human nature comes out. The sheer logistics of organizing and
planning a week-long service trip can be daunting. Once
5 teams are on site, interpersonal problems often emerge
as people start working together. As soon as a leader or a coalition of members decides to do one thing, other
3
people will question those decisions and advocate a different direction. Even though ASB participants are well
1problems almost inevitably emerge.
meaning and eager to contribute to the common good,
Whitney was a typical student and would be quick9
to attest to the life-changing power of her ASB experience.
She spent every spring break during her college career volunteering at different ASB sites. She remembers her first
B
spring break as setting the stage for involvement in a student group that would forever change her life. During
U in some of the most troubled public schools in Detroit,
that year, her team conducted conflict resolution workshops
Michigan. While the work was overwhelming at times, it was also extremely meaningful. Team members called
the Detroit experience that year the “all-star site” because of the incredible friendships they forged and the important work they accomplished together.
The “all-star site” was not without its problems, though. One of the memorable experiences for Whitney
was an argument that took place between two of the male members of the team. It was a heated debate about
whether or not sports should be presented to urban kids as a viable career option. One member viewed sports as
1
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2
Working in Teams
an opportunity for disadvantaged youth, while the other saw it as an unrealistic dream and barrier to educational
success. Interestingly, Whitney found herself pleased that group members had become comfortable enough with
one another that they were able to disagree so openly after only spending a short amount of time together.
Because of the amount of time ASB participants spend with one another and because of the issues they face, they
tend to go through the stages of group development quickly. While some teams get bogged down in communication misunderstandings and interpersonal squabbles, most become cohesive units that not only make a difference
in the communities in which they serve but also in the lives of the members themselves.
Case Study Discussion Questions
F
1. If you were screening applications of students who wanted to go on an ASB trip, what are the qualities for
I
which you would seek?
N
D
Describe the general climate of ASB. What are the collective values and beliefs of students who are involved
L
with this organization?
E of the members were hostile toward each other?
What would you do if you were on a team in which two
How do you respond to interpersonal conflict?
Y
From an administrative level, what do ASB leaders need, to do to ensure a safe and successful experience for
2. What are some of the tasks that need to be done ahead of time to prepare for a spring break trip?
3.
4.
5.
students?
S
A Katzenbach and Smith (2005) suggest that
In their article “The Discipline of Teams,”
“The essence of a team is shared commitment.
R Without it, groups perform as individuals;
with it, they become a powerful unit of collective performance. This kind of commitment
A
requires a purpose in which team members can believe” (p. 3). ASB students who are willing to forgo a fun and relaxing spring break in order to provide meaningful service to others
are certainly committed to the mission of their teams. But their level of commitment does
5
not ensure a smooth and successful experience. There are a multitude of things that can
go wrong because of site leaders who are3 inexperienced or activities that are poorly
planned or team members who do not get along with one another. Any one of these, which
1
come from a much longer list of potential team obstacles, can serve to create disappoint9 suggests, a collection of high-potential indiment and frustration. As the title of this text
viduals does not always develop into a high-performance
team. In fact, it is quite the
B
exception (Wheelan, 2005). But with a little bit of knowledge and planning, teams can be
U (Hertel, 2011).
rewarding and extremely successful enterprises
WHAT IS A TEAM?
Perhaps we should begin by defining what a team is. Kozlowski and Bell (2003) define
teams as groups of people ‘‘who exist to perform organizationally relevant tasks, share one
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CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Teams
3
or more common goals, interact
socially, exhibit task interdependencies, maintain and manage boundaries, and are embedded in an
organizational context that sets
boundaries, constrains the team,
and influences exchanges with
other units in the broader entity’’
(p. 334). First and foremost, according to this definition, teams exist to
F
accomplish specific tasks that are
related to common goals. In order to
I
do this, people must interact with
N
one another in some form or fashion to accomplish those tasks.
D
Summarizing the existing definitions, Wageman, Gardner, and Mortensen (2012) define a
L
team as a “bounded and stable set of individuals interdependent for a common purpose”
Ethat members know who is on the team and who
(p. 305). Team boundaries are created so
is not. And finally, we must acknowledge that teams exist within a larger organizational
Y
context that influences them to varying degrees. While some organizations give tremen,
dous autonomy to their teams, others require
strict adherence to a set of rules, roles, structures, and operating procedures.
Businesses and corporations are well aware of the potential of teams and frequently use
S
them to carry out the missions of their organizations.
Take Ford Motor Company, for example. When Henry Ford, the founder and A
chief engineer of Ford, envisioned his company, he
wanted to find a way to efficiently create cars that were both affordable and reliable for the
R
consumer. He developed several teams—each
consisting of two to three members—that
worked together on a specific part of theAassembly process instead of separately building a
car from start to finish. This innovative approach pioneered the assembly line method. With
several teams working toward a common goal, Ford Motor Company went on to make millions of reliable automobiles and is now
5 the world’s fifth-largest automaker in the world.
The 21st century business world is marked by the need for quick responses to rapidly chang3
ing market conditions. Keeping up with the complexities of a global economy requires businesses to draw upon multiple perspectives
1 and multiple sources of input in order to be able
to compete. For this reason, task-oriented teams can be found almost anywhere, from fac9
tory assembly lines to corporate executive suites (Polzer, 2003).
B
U
WHY DO WE NEED TO LEARN ABOUT TEAMS?
Individuals who affiliate with groups and learn to cooperate with others increase their chances
of solving shared problems and meeting personal needs (Qin, Johnson, & Johnson, 1995).
Families, neighborhoods, communities, work teams, organizations, and cultures are
all attempts to increase collective stability in ways that meet individual needs for survival,
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4
Working in Teams
personal development, and social interaction. Given the shift in our economy to a more teambased, collaborative, and interdependent approach to work, it is not surprising that an
Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) survey showed that 71% of employers want colleges to place a greater emphasis on teamwork (AACU, 2010). It is more important
than ever for college graduates to be prepared to work in a team-based environment.
While it is not uncommon to encounter group projects and team-based assignments
throughout the college experience, the robust working knowledge and subtle interpersonal
skills required for team success may not be effectively developed within the undergraduate
curriculum. Another AACU report, “College Learning for the New Global Economy: A
Report from the National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise”
(AACU, 2007) identifies teamwork as 1 of F
15 “Essential Learning Outcomes” in college.
Success in most work environments after graduation
requires individuals to work well with
I
others in collaborative team efforts. Whether in business, government, not-for-profit orgaN
nizations, or a vast array of other professional pursuits, being able to work within and to
lead teams is of central importance to individual
D success and organizational sustainability.
The primary focus of this text is to prepare students for task-oriented groups in which
L
individuals have joined together to accomplish specific goals. The evidence-based concepts
E leaders and members alike as they work
and skills that are presented can help both
together to achieve collective success. After reading the text, students will be able to create
Y
meaningful social contexts that foster the development of individual members, changing
, teams.
“high-potential” teams into “high-performance”
S
A
Groups of people who join together to accomplish
R a specific task do not always exemplify
the characteristics of a true “team.” Hackman (2009) has identified five basic conditions
A
that must be met if a group is to be considered a team versus a workgroup:
TEAMS VERSUS WORKGROUPS
1. “Teams must be real.” While many organizations
assign people to teams, some of
5
those structures are teams in name only. Real teams are groups of identifiable
people who actually work together to3achieve a common set of objectives.
2. “Teams need a compelling direction.”1In order for everyone to be pulling in the
same direction, they need to understand and embrace a shared purpose.
9
3. “Teams need enabling structures.” This means involving the right number of the
Bin the right ways, and governing them by
right kind of people on the right tasks
the right norms and shared values. U
4. “Teams need a supportive organization.” Everything must facilitate success, from
the behaviors and output that are most prized or rewarded, to the structure of the
teams’ people, systems, and processes.
5. “Teams need expert coaching.” An expert third party must lend insight and
guidance at key points in any groups’ evolution. Too much coaching focuses on
the individual, when it should be focused on teamwork and team process.
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CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Teams
5
Clearly, teams and teamwork are nuanced, dynamic, and highly variable. In addition,
they are increasingly valued across industries as instrumental in organizational success.
COMMON PROBLEMS
While teams have tremendous potential to accomplish tasks well beyond the reach of any
single individual, they are not without problems. As a matter of fact, working in teams can
be quite frustrating. Research about teams, personal observations, and personal experience
point to five common problems that people
F experience when working in teams:
I
N
• Productivity losses
D
• Poor communication
L
• Interpersonal conflict
E
• Poor leadership
Y
One of the perennial problems in working
with others is a lack of commitment among
,
• Lack of commitment
members. It is not uncommon for a majority of the work to be done by only a few members. While this may be extremely frustrating for those who are doing the work, those same
team members are often reluctant to give
S up control in order to allow others to rise to the
challenge. As a result, those who are doing little or nothing are content to ride the coattails
A
of higher performing members. This free riding, or social loafing, is a regular irritant for
countless team leaders.
R
Losses in productivity that come from poor structure and a lack of planning and orgaA
nization are called “process losses.” They occur because of the additional layers of complexity that come from working in teams. For example, it may take longer to come to a
decision, time may be wasted in trying 5
to schedule meetings, and individual contributions
must be integrated into the larger project. Furthermore, conflicts about goals, task assign3
ments, and operating procedures all threaten
to slow down the work of a team. Unless a
team has specifically defined roles and responsibilities,
and has established a sound system
1
of coordinating its efforts, there will likely be losses in productivity.
9 of poorly performing groups. Team members
Poor communication is often at the heart
can emerge from the same meeting with
B completely different perspectives of what was
said or what was or was not accomplished. In general, as the number of people working
on a task increases, so does the chanceU
for communication problems. Most of what team
members perceive comes from highly subjective interpretations of nonverbal behavior
including tone, facial expression, and body posture. In addition, members often do a poor
job supporting or providing evidence for their positions. Thus, there is a great propensity
to miscommunicate or misunderstand what is being said.
Communication problems easily give way to interpersonal conflict. On any given team,
there are likely to be people with whom we get along better than others—and there may
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6
Working in Teams
even be some whom we strongly dislike. Strong dislike for a person is frequently quite
evident to them even despite our best efforts to hide it. Furthermore, some members are
prone to taking questions or challenges far too personally, and do not realize that banter
and spirited debate actually sharpen the ability of the group to make good decisions. When
members are emotionally fragile, they are likely to feel threatened by those who play the
important role of the deviant or devil’s advocate.
Finally, poor leadership can compromise the ability of teams to perform effectively
(Sivasubramaniam, Murry, Avolio, & Jung, 2002). Leadership is a delicate dance that both
guides and empowers. There is no shortage of cases in which team members were so discontent with their leaders that they disengaged, resisted, or even sabotaged their own
F
teams. Team leaders who do not balance members’
need for structure with their need for
autonomy will hinder performance.
I
N
CONDITIONS FOR TEAM SUCCESS
D
L
Druskat and Wolff (2001) have identified three essential conditions for team success: trust
among members, a sense of group identity, and
E a sense of group efficacy. Team leaders and
organizers can impact their teams by nurturing the development of each of these compoY
nents. As teams begin their journey together, trust, identity, and efficacy must be estab,
lished for optimal performance.
Trust
S
According to Doney, Cannon, and Mullen (1998), trust can be defined simply as the willingA
ness to rely upon others. Organizational researchers have become increasingly interested
in its causes, nature, and effects (Costa, Roe,R& Taillieu, 2001; Kramer, 1999; Mayer, Davis,
& Schoorman, 1995). Lencioni (2002) suggests that trust is necessary for effective team
A
functioning. Without it, a host of dysfunctions may emerge, including a fear of conflict,
lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.
Levels of trust are related to the personal
5 characteristics of both those who trust and
those who are trusted. Some people, by nature, are more trusting than others. This quality
3
stems from positive past experiences and relationships
that have proven others to be generally trustworthy. Thus, core beliefs in the
goodness
of people are established, which
1
enables attraction and attachment to others. On the other hand, for those who have had
9relying upon others will not be an easy thing
negative experiences with people in the past,
to do. Group members with painful past experiences
and negative beliefs will likely be less
B
trusting of others and seek to be independent.
U
Trust in groups is also related to the trustworthiness
of the group members. Members
are trusted when they are perceived to have characteristics that engender trust. These
include competence, benevolence, and integrity (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995). First,
members will rely upon those who are competent and have ability in an area of concern
to the group. In other words, members must be relatively sure that the person has the
capacity to perform the task at hand. Second, members will trust colleagues who exhibit
benevolence. Benevolent members are kind and generous, and are opposed to intentionally
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CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Teams
7
harming or manipulating other people. The third quality that begets trust is integrity.
Members who have integrity are true to their word and do what they say they will do before
the deadline. If enough members consistently demonstrate these qualities of competence,
benevolence, and integrity, the group will establish a foundation of trust that will lead to
success and satisfaction.
While t …
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