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Chapter 9.docx

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Psychology 2660A/B
Natalie J Allen

Chapter 9: Teams and Teamwork  No real distinction between the words groups and teams; team must consist of at least 3 people; dyad = 2 person unit  Team – a social aggregation in which a limited number of individuals interact on a regular basis to accomplish a set of shared objectives for which they have mutual responsibility o Bounded social units that work within a larger social system o Can combine the strengths of their individual members to achieve that exceed the combined results of all their members Origins of Work Teams  A fast work pace led to organizations changing their structure in response and began using work teams to accomplish work  Three factors are critical in the creation of teams to accomplish work o The burgeoning amount of information and knowledge in existence – since no one person can have technical expertise in all areas, a team approach becomes more tenable as it pools mental resources o The working population is becoming increasingly more educated and trained o Rate of change in work activities  Work teams can be responsive and adaptable to these ever-changing conditions of work  Teams are not universally superior to individuals for conducting work across all relevant performance indices; ex. Teams don’t necessarily produce better quality decisions than individuals  Not every company needs to use teams though  “Team halo effect” – when people seek to understand team performance, they tend to give teams credit for their success; individuals tend to receive the blame for poor team performance Level of Analysis  Level of analysis – the unit or level (individuals, teams, organizations, nations, etc) that is the object of the researchers’ interest and about which conclusions are drawn from the research  Figure 9-1 – three levels of analysis o Organization (company = 1) o Team (work teams = 25) o Individual (employees = 100)  Teams and organizations can differ in their size, but individuals cannot  Micro – describes research at the individual level  Macro – research at the organization level  Research at the team level is between micro and macro (“meso”) o Meso research occurs in an organizational context where processes at two levels are examined simultaneously Types of Teams  Three basic types of teams 1. Problem-resolution team – focuses on solving ongoing problems or issues  The members must have a high degree of trust in a process of problem resolution that focuses on issues, rather than on predetermined positions/conclusions  Ex. Diagnostic teams at the CDC 2. Creative team – developing innovative possibilities or solutions  Broad objective of developing a new product/service  Requires autonomy 3. Tactical team – executing a well-defined plan or objective  Requires high task clarity and unambiguous role definition  Ex. Cardiac surgical team; police SWAT team 4. Ad hoc team – created for a limited duration that is designed to address one specific problem  Hybrid between problem-res and a tactical team  Used in organizations that encounter unusual or atypical problems that require an atypical response  Our lives are influenced by these multiteam systems Principles of Teamwork  Five major principles of teamwork: 1. Teamwork implies that members provide feedback to and accept it from one another 2. Teamwork implies the willingness, preparedness, and proclivity to back fellow members up during operations 3. Teamwork involves group members collectively viewing themselves as a group whose success depends on their interaction 4. Teamwork means fostering within-team interdependence 5. Team leadership makes a difference with respect to the performance of the team Team structure  The structure of a team includes variables such as the number of members on the team, demographic composition, and experience of team members  Successful teams manifest diversity in a team (diversity = differences)  How to manifest diversity among team members? o Information diversity (can do)  Differences among the members in terms of what they know and what cognitive resources they can bring to the team  Successful teams often have a pooling of expertise/knowledge among their members o Value diversity (will do)  Reflects more fundamental differences among people with regard to tastes, preferences, goals, and interests  Informational diversity positively influenced team performance  Value diversity decreased member satisfaction with the team, intent to remain on the team, and commitment to the team  Impact of diversity depends on the type of task  Diversity within a team was reflected in the members’ filling different roles o Effective teams were composed of members who served different roles on the team o Needed roles for an 8-person team: 1. A leader 2. A shaper 3. A worker 4. A creator 5. A resource investigator 6. A monitor-evaluator 7. A team facilitator 8. A completer-finisher  These eight roles can be further reduced to four functions within a team: o Leadership o Work producers o Internal team maintenance o Liaison to people and resources outside the team  The likelihood of people assuming a secondary role out of the 8 is based on their personalities  The responsibility for directing and managing collective effort within the team can be shared across all team members  Everyone within the team assumes some responsibility for the overall functioning of the team o The team engages in “self-leadership” Team processes  Processes are the operations within a team that permit it to function smoothly and efficiently  Four major team processes: socialization, interpersonal, shared mental models, and decision making  Socialization o Socialization – the process to mutual adjustment between the team and its members, especially new members o How socialization occurs – based on 3 psychological concepts: 1. Evaluation – involved attempt by the team and the individual to assess and maximize each other’s value; a mutual process 2. Commitment – the sense of loyalty, union, and connection between the individual and the team; strong commitment is needed 3. Role transition – initiated when commitment reaches a certain level o Figure 9-3 shows an individual’s commitment to the team over time as he or she passes through 5 phases of team membership o Investigation – team searches for individuals who can contribute to the team goals; individual searches for a satisfying team; if both achieve a certain level of commitment… o Socialization – individual assimilates into team; team accommodates itself to individual; if both accept each other, individual becomes a full member of team… o Maintenance – both try to maximize their needs (achievement of the team and satisfaction of the individual); lasts as long as both meet their needs… o Resocialization – as commitment weakens, result in resocialization; team and individual try again to influence each other; if unsuccessful… o Rememberance – team membership ends; each recall their contributions; feelings of commitment between them stabilize at a low level  Interpersonal processes in teams o Several interpersonal characteristics that are endemic to the high performing work teams o Communication  Open, frequent, and candid  Formal weekly meetings to discuss team progress  Informal communication is on a daily basis  Continuous communication allows the team to become a safe harbor for the expression of ideas and opinions – may advance the welfare of the team by speaking up o Conflict  Unavoidable  Beneficial conflict – desire of two+ members with differing ideas and interests to understand the views of the other – want a mutually satisfactory decision  Competitive co
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