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Chapter 8

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Human Resources
MHR 405
Robin Church

Chapter 8 Team Dynamics TEAMS AND INFORMAL GROUPS  Teams - are groups of two or more people who interact and influence each other, are mutually accountable for achieving common goals associated with organizational objectives, and perceive themselves as a social entity within an organization ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TEAMS  Advantages o Make better decisions, products/services o Better information sharing o Increase employee motivation/engagement o Fulfills drive to bond o Closer scrutiny by team members o Team members are benchmarks of comparison  Disadvantages o Process losses – resources (including time and energy) expended toward team development and maintenance rather than the task o Process losses also occur because workload needs to be redistributed often o Brooks’s Law (mythical man-month) – principle that adding more people to a late software project only makes it later o Social loafing – problem that occurs when people exert less effort (and usually perform at a lower level) when working in teams than when working alone A MODEL OF TEAM EFFECTIVENESS  includes team design, team effectiveness, team processes, and organizational and team environment TEAM DESIGN ELEMENTS Task Characteristics  one task characteristic that is important for teams is task interdependence – extent to which team members must share materials, information, or expertise in order to perform their jobs  lowest level of interdependence is called pooled interdependence - occurs when an employee or work unit shares a common resource with other employees/work units  higher level of interdependence is called sequential interdependence – output of one person becomes the direct input for another person/unit  highest degree of interdependence is from reciprocal interdependence – work output is exchanged back and forth among individuals.  The higher the level of interdependence, the greater the need to organize people into teams rather then work alone Team Size  Large enough to provide necessary competencies but small enough to maintain efficient coordination and meaningful involvement of members  Small teams operate effectively because they have less process loss  Members feel more responsible for success/failure, more engaged in activities Team Composition  most frequent mentioned characteristics or behaviours of effective team members are depicted in “five C’s” model  Cooperating – effective team members are willing and able to work together rather than alone  Coordinating – effective team members actively manage the team’s work so that it is performed efficiently and harmoniously  Communicating – effective team members transmit info freely, efficiently, and respectfully. Also listen actively to others  Comforting – effective team members help co-workers maintain positive and healthy psychological state  Conflict resolving - effective team members have the skills and motivation to resolve dysfunctional disagreements among team members. TEAM PROCESSES Team Development  Forming – first stage of team development, period of testing and orientation in which members learn about each other and evaluate benefits and costs of continued membership  Storming – interpersonal conflicts as members become proactive and compete for team roles. Try establishing norms and performance standards  Norming – team develops first real sense of cohesion as roles are established and consensus forms around objectives and team based mental model  Performing – team members have learned to resolve conflicts and efficiently coordinate. High cooperation and trust and are committed to objectives  Adjourning – occurs when team is about to disband. Members shift attention away from task orientation to relationship focus  Two distinct processes during team development: - Developing team identity – process involves transition that individuals make from viewing the team as something “out there” to something that is part of themselves. - Developing team competence – process includes developing habitual routines with teammates and forming shared or complementary mental models.  Role – set of behaviours people are expected to perform because of positions they hold in team/organization  Team building - process that consists of formal activities intended to improve the development and functioning of a work team Team Norms  Norms – informal rules and shared expectations that groups establish to regulate the behavior of their members  State desirable norms when the team is created or select people with appropriate values Team Cohesion  Team cohesion – degree of attraction people feel toward the team and their motivation to remain members  Many factors affect team cohesion such as: - Member similarity – teams have higher cohesion or become cohesive more quickly when members are similar to each other - Team size – smaller teams tend to have more cohesion than larger teams because its easier for few people to agree and coordinate - Member interaction – teams tend to have more cohesion when members interact with each other regularly - Somewhat difficult entry – more cohesion when entry to the team is restricted - Team success – cohesion both emotional and instrumental, with latter referring to notion that people feel more cohesion to teams that fulfill their needs/goals - External competition and challenges - cohesion tends to increase when members face external competi
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