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Lecture 3

MHR 505 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Mental Model, Nominal Group Technique, Problem Solving

Human Resources
Course Code
MHR 505
Frank Miller

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Jan 27, 2017
Lecture 3: chapter 8 - team dynamics
(same from MHR 405)
Team work by Team Canada at 2014 sochi Olympics
Team Canada selected their team based on the new defense-first strategy. Even
though they had to leave out 3 notable members of the 2010 gold winning team, they
ended up winning gold again
What are teams
Groups of two or more people
Exist to fulfill a purpose
Interdependent – interact and collaborate
Mutually accountable for achieving common goals – influence each other
Perceive themselves to be a team
Different types of teams
● Permanence
How long that type of team usually exists
Skill differentiation
Degree of skill/knowledge diversity in the team
Authority differentiation
Degree that decision-making responsibility is distributed throughout the team
or centralized
Informal Groups
Groups that exist primarily for the benefit of their members
Reasons why informal groups exist:
Innate drive to bond
Social identity -- we define ourselves by group memberships
Goal accomplishment
Emotional support
Team Advantages/Challenges
Make better decisions, products/services
Better information sharing
Increase employee motivation/engagement
● Challenges
Process losses – resources needed for team maintenance
Social loafing – members potentially exert less effort in teams than alone
slackers, people who do not contribute like their suppose to
Brooks’ Law – Adding more people to a late software project only makes it
***Team Effectiveness Model
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find more resources at

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Jan 27, 2017
cohesion = how well you trust your team
team design = amount of people, the type of people
PSA Peugeot Citroen’s Team Space
PSA Peugeot Citroen set up an “obeya room” (shown here) to speed up team ̈
decision making. Plastered with charts and notes on key issues, the space
encourages face-to-face interaction to quickly resolve issues.
Organizational/Team Environment
Reward systems
Communication systems
Organizational structure
Organizational leadership
Physical space
Best tasks for teams
1. Complex tasks divisible into specialized roles
2. Well-structured tasks – easier to coordinate
a. Makes things easier to divide the work
3. Higher task interdependence
Team members must share materials, information, or expertise to perform
their jobs
Teams are usually better because high interdependence
requires better communication/coordination and
motivates team membership
But teams less effective if task goals differ (e.g. serving different clients) – use
other coordinating mechanisms
3 levels of interdependence
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Jan 27, 2017
Team sizes
Smaller teams are better because:
less process loss -- need less time to coordinate roles and resolve differences
require less time to develop
more engaged with team – know members, more influence on the team
feel more responsible for team’s success
But team must be large enough to accomplish task
Team composition
Effective team members must be willing and able to work on the team
Effective team members possess specific competencies
The 5 C’s in the diagram
(1 C missing)
Team composition: diversity
Team members have diverse knowledge, skills, perspectives, values, etc.
● Advantages
view problems/alternatives from different perspectives
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