Chapter 10 Team Characteristics
Team: Two or more people who work interdependently over some time period to accomplish common
goals related to some task-oriented purpose.
Group: Collection of 2 or more people
Team vs. Group
Interactions within teams revolve around a deeper dependence on one another than the
interactions within groups.
Members of a team depend on one another for critical information, materials, and actions that
are needed to accomplish their purpose.
Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, and a Nurse work together to accomplish a successful surgery on a patient.
Work Teams: A relatively permanent team in which members work together to produce goods and/or
Vary in the degree in which members have autonomy in defining theirs roles and decision
o Example: MBA Program at University of Alberta
Management Teams: A relatively permanent team that participates in managerial-level tasks that affect
the entire organization.
Participate in managerial-level tasks that affect the entire organization
o Example: Typically departments or functional areasto help the organization achieve its
Parallel Teams: A team composed of members from various jobs within the organization that meets to
provide recommendations about important issues.
Part-time commitment from members required
May be permanent or temporary, depending on their aim
o Examples: Committees often form to deal with unique issues or issues that arise only
Project Teams: A team formed to take on one-time tasks, most of which tend to be complex and require
input from members from different functional areas.
Exist as long as it takes to finish a project
o Some projects are complex and may take years to complete Work full-time
o Example: Pixar has characteristics of project teams.
Action Teams: A team of limited duration that performs complex tasks in contexts that tends to be
highly visible and challenging.
Example: Sport teams remain for at least one season, Musical groups like the Rolling Stones
may stick together for decades.
Variations within Team Types
Virtual Team: A team in which the members are geographically dispersed and interdependent activity
occurs through e-mail, Web conferencing, and instant messaging.
Forming: The first stage of team development, during which members try to get a feel for what is
expected of them, what types of behaviors are out of bounds, and whos in charge.
Storming: The second stage of team development, during which conflict occurs due to members
ongoing commitment to ideas they bring with them to the team.
Norming: The third stage of team development, during which members realize that they need to work
together to accomplish team goals and consequently begin to cooperate.
Performing: The final stage of team development, during which members are comfortable working with
their roles, and the teams makes progress toward goals.
Aircraft flight crew does not have to go through the forming, storming, norming, and
performing stages to figure out that the pilot flies the plane and the flight attendant serves
o The predictable sequence of team development does not apply to all types of
One situation in which this developmental sequence is less applicable is
when teams are formed with clear expectations regarding what is expected
from the team and its members.
Second situation in which it is less applicable may be in certain types of
project teams that follow a pattern of development called punctuated
Punctuated Equilibrium: A sequence of team development during
which not much gets done until the halfway point of a project, after
which teams make necessary changes to complete the project on
o Forming and Pattern Creation: Members make assumptions
and establish a pattern of behavior that lasts the first half of
its life.o Inertia (Inactivity): That pattern of behavior continues to
dominate the teams behavior as it settles into a sort of
o At mid-point of the project something remarkable happens.
o Process Revision: Members realize that they have to
change their task paradigm fundamentally to complete it on
People that change, do well, people that do not
change, sink in the ocean.
Task Interdependence: The degree to which team members interact with and rely on other team
members for information, materials, and resources needed to accomplish work for the team.
Lowest to Highest Required Coordination
Pooled Interdependence: A form of task interdependence in which group members complete their work
assignments independently, and then their w