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Lecture 12

PSYC 3430 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Team Unity, Team Effectiveness, Quality Circle

Course Code
PSYC 3430
Peter Thompson

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An understanding of teams requires an understanding of groups, in general: How they form,
their basic structures, their development over time, and the social influence processes that
shape members’ behaviors. Teams, however, possess some unique characteristics, given the
high degree of coordination among members and their focus on goals.
Learning Objectives
12.1. Trace this history of the use of teams in performance settings.
12.2. Describe the qualities of teams that set them apart from other types of groups.
12.3. Describe the following types of teams, providing examples of each: Management, Project,
Advisory, Service, Production, and Action.
12.4. Summarize Hackman’s authority matrix model of team autonomy.
12.5. Trace the history of the use of teams in businesses and organizations.
12.6. Graphically summarize the Input-Process-Output model of team productivity.
12.7. Summarize the methods used and results obtained in the Pisano, Bohmer, and Edmondson (2001)
study of teams for minimally invasive coronary surgery.
12.8. Describe the personality characteristics of the ideal “team player.”
12.9. Describe the KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) of the high-performance team member.
12.10. Examine the categories and types of diversity that are relevant to teams, and identify the benefits
and liabilities of increased team diversity.
12.11. Review evidence pertaining to sex differences in group productivity.
12.12. Use the Marks, Mathieu, and Zaccaro model to identify the transition, action, and interpersonal
processes that make up teamwork.
12.13. Describe the cognitive factors that support effective teamwork.
12.14. Use an equifinality conception of cohesion to predict team unity.
12.15. Describe the unique problems facing online teams in comparison to offline teams.
12.16. Evaluate the effectiveness of teams as currently used in business and industry, and offer data-based
suggestions for improving them.
12.17. Summarize the empirical evidence examining the effectiveness of team building and team training.
12.18. Compare and contrast teams and quality circles.
Key Terms
ad hoc teams
cross-functional teams
group affective tone
interpersonal trust
organizational trust model
quality circles (QCs)
real teams model
romance of teams
scientific management
team building
team training
Chapter 12 158 Teams

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12-1. Working in Teams. If possible, have your students work on a project as a team. In order to qualify
as a true team, rather than a learning group or study group, discuss the key features of a team, and make
sure that you create these qualities in the teams. The most important will be group-level outcomes (all the
members receive a common grade), a fixed membership (members cannot come and go from the group),
and repetition of tasks so that the group has the opportunity to learn based on experience. Teams do not
work on a project and then disband: true teams repeatedly perform the same type of task.
Repeated group-level testing offers one means of creating true teams in the classes. After creating the
teams give the teams a substantial multiple choice test, due one week from that date. Tell students that
they are to select a name for their team, and turn in only one copy of the test to represent their team’s
answers. Repeat this testing process at least three times over the course of the semester, so that students
can learn basic teamwork skills, such as strategy formulation, system monitoring, and backup behavior.
In creating the teams, be mindful of diversity in terms of demographic characteristics, achievement
motivation, and general achievement. Because team performance tends to be linked to the performance of
the best member of the group, if possible make sure that the highest performers in the class are distributed
across teams. Following any given performance, have the student complete an assessment of their team.
12-2. What is a Team? What is the difference between a team and a group? This activity assumes that
teams are groups, but other researchers offer more elaborate models of teams, which students can use to
describe the features of a team they observe or one to which they belong. Dickinson & McIntyre (in
Brannick, Salas, & Prince, 1997, p. 25), for example, identify seven components of teamwork: team
orientation, team leadership, communication, monitoring, feedback, backup behavior (assisting each
other), and coordination of effort.
Instructions. Teams are groups, but what makes them unique? Their unity? Their focus on group goals?
The interdependence among members? Explore these questions by interviewing at least 2 members of
teams: a workgroup in a business setting, a sports team, a policy or military squad, or a surgical team are
all good examples of the kinds of groups to investigate. The individuals may be members of the same
team, or different teams. Prepare a brief report summarizing their responses to these questions, and any
others you feel are important to consider. Drawing on their responses, summarize your report by answer
this question: Was this group a true team?
1. Interaction questions:
What do the members of your group do?
Do group members interact frequently together or separately?
Are most group interactions task focused on relationship focused?
2. Interdependence questions:
Do group members work closely with each other?
Are there any problems coordinating the group’s activities?
Do people work together or do they primarily work on their own projects?
What happens when a group member doesn’t perform up to the group’s standards?
3. Structure questions:
How organized is the group?
Is it clear who is supposed to do what?
Are there conflicts about who is in charge?
4. Goal questions:

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Do members of your group put the group’s goal about their own individual goals?
Do members work hard to reach the group’s goals?
Does the group have a specific mission or goal?
If the group fails, do you fail?
5. Cohesiveness questions:
Would you say that your group is a cohesive, tight-knit one?
Do people like each other?
Does the group have much turnover?
6. Social identity questions:
Does the group have a name?
Are group members proud to say that they are a member of this group?
Do the group members share a sense of identity with each other?
12.1. Discuss the relationship between the use of teams in performance settings with management
philosophies, both past and present.
12.2. What features must a group exhibit before it can be considered a true team?
12.3. Compare and contrast the following types of teams, and give an example of each: management,
project, advisory, service, production, and action.
12.4. How do teams differ from task forces and crews?
12.5. What is the difference between a member-founded team and a mandated (or concocted) team?
Give examples of each type, and draw conclusions about their general dynamics.
12.6. Use Hackman’s authority matrix model to identify four basic types of teams based on their level of
12.7. Compare the I-P-O model of teams to the I-M-O-I model.
12.8. Select a team to analyze, such as the staff at a fast-food restaurant or a sports team. Use the Input-
Process-Output model of team productivity to describe this team at the systems level.
12.9. You must pick a new member for your team, and you have the opportunity to administer several
personality tests. What kinds of qualities will you assess and why?
12.10. What are the KSAs needed for good team members?
12.11. What is diversity, as applied to a team? Describe various forms diversity can take.
12.12. You are planning a mission to explore the planet Mars. When you create the team that you will
send, what types of diversity will you build into the group and why?
12.13. You are the director of an all-male orchestra, but you are about to admit 5 women performers to
the group. What changes in terms of performance and process can you anticipate?
12.14. Are men’s teams more close-knit, and therefore stronger teams, than women’s teams?
12.15. Why, in the Marks, Mathieu, and Zaccaro model of team processes, are such components as
mission analysis and goal specification labeled “transition processes?”
12.16. Use the Marks, Mathiew, and Zaccaro model of team processes to identify the problems
experienced by the second case hospital, Chelsea Hospital, studied by Pisano, Bohmer, and
Edmondson (2001).
12.17. You have the opportunity to develop a team training procedure for your organization, and you
decide to focus on team cognition. What steps will you take to enhance your team’s mental
models, transactive memories, and capacity to learn?
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