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Chapter 7

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Ryerson University
Human Resources
MHR 405
Frank Miller

Chapter 7 – Team Dynamics and Effectiveness What is a Team? - Team: two more people with a common goal who are dependent upon each other to achieve a particular task and who hold themselves accountable to each other - Group: two or more people with common interests and continuing interactions - Task interdependence: the degree of task-driven interaction among work team members Task Interdependence in Teams - Key feature that distinguishes a team from a group is the fact that in a team, members are interdependent upon each other to accomplish their tasks - There are three types of interdependence in teams: (exhibit 7.1 pg. 183) 1. Pooled interdependence 2. Sequential interdependence 3. Reciprocal interdependence Pooled Interdependence - Team members work individually but either draw from a pool of common inputs or pool their outputs - Example: orchestra Sequential Interdependence - Teams rely on each other for resources with the output of one member becoming the input of another such as a football team Reciprocal Interdependence - Members have reciprocal interdependence, with work being exchanged back and forth among them, like double tennis teams - This is the highest form of task interdependence of the three, and it requires the best team work skills Types of Work Related Teams - Types of work teams in organizations include: functional teams, cross-functional teams, problem-solving teams (including quality circles), self-managed teams, and virtual teams Functional and Cross-Functional Teams - Functional team: usually includes employees who work together daily on similar tasks and must coordinate their efforts - Two types of permanent teams that are not responsible for a specific function: cross- functional teams and quality circles - Cross-functional teams: a temporary or permanent group of employees at about the same level but from different work areas, who work together to solve problems or have ongoing responsibility for a certain process or function Problem-Solving, Self-Directed, and Virtual Teams - Problem-solving teams: refers to members who focus on a specific issue, develop a potential solution, and are often empowered to take action within defined limits o One type of problem-solving team is called a quality circle – popularized as a Japanese management method - Quality circles: a small group of employees who work voluntarily on company time, typically one hour per week, to address work-related problems such as quality control, cost reduction, production planning and techniques, and even product design - Self-directed work teams (SDWT): a team whose members have autonomy to carry out interdependent tasks and make decisions once reserved for managers - Virtual team: a team whose members are separated by distance, time, or organizational boundaries, but are linked by communication technologies How Teams Develop - Two models of team development have stood the test of time: Tuckman and Jensen’s five- stage model and Gersick’s punctuated equilibrium model The Five-Stage Model of Team Development - Teams pass through five stages of development; forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning Stage 1: Forming (Dependence and Inclusion) o Forming: the first stage in team development, characterized by politeness, superficiality, and uncertainty o Who are these people? What do they expect from me? Who’s leading? o Members remain polite and superficial and often engage in “pseudo-work:, such as discussions about activities unrelated to the team’s goals Stage 2: Storming (Counter dependency and Fighting) o Storming: the second stage of team development, characterized by conflict, confusion, power struggles, and the emergence o How will we handle difference of opinion? How will we communicate negative information? o Faultlines: subgroups or coalitions that emerge naturally within teams, typically along various demographic lines o Disagreements over goals, procedures, and various roles o In order to resolve this stage, team members need to refocus on their goals, use supportive communication, identify their sources of conflict Stage 3: Norming (Trust and Structure) o Norming: the third stage of team development, characterized by cohesion (unity), trust, and clarification of group roles and norms o What are the norms and values of this team? How can I show my support to others? Step 4: Performing (independence – the Team Reaches its Full Potential) o Performing: the fourth stage of team development, at which the team has achieved synergy and is reaching its full potential o Not all teams reach this stage, and simply finishing a job does not mean that the team has actually reached the performing stage in terms of its development Stage 5: Adjourning (Disbanding) o Adjourning: the fifth and final stage of team development for temporary teams, characterized by concern with wrapping up o In some teams, anticipation of their disbandment causes disruption and conflict, in others, members express appreciation and regret their work together is ending The Punctuated Equilibrium Model of Team Development - This model proposes that project teams, rather than developing gradually over time, progress through “an alternation of stasis and sudden change” - Phase one – “inertia” - Midpoint phase – “midlife crisis” o This phase of disequilibrium can be identified by bursts of activity, changes in leadership, faultlines, and expressions of concern - Phase two – new equilibrium and inertia Team Effectiveness - Team effectiveness: achieved when the team services, the team meets its objectives, and the needs of its members are satisfied to the extent that they would be willing to work together again - OB research has revealed a number of conditions that affect the chances that a team will be effective. The Overall Team Effectiveness Model (exhibit 7.4, pf. 190) team effectiveness depends on o The organizational context o How the team is designed and set up o How team members manage their internal processes o The degree to which team members try to block the team’s progress Team Effectiveness Depends on Organizational Context - The context varies and includes the organizational culture, the sponsorship, support and direction, the amount and type of resources made available to the team, the type of team performance measurement performance, and the nature of the team rewards Organizational Culture, Sponsorship and Support - When culture is cooperative, teams embedded in it, especially diverse ones, are more likely to be successful - Sponsor or leader who has set up the team needs to achieve a balance between setting limits and removing barriers - Organizational sponsor must provide clear direction regarding the team’s overall purpose and also continue to be available to coach the team when required Resources and Access - Teams need access to required resources, such as budget, work space, key stakeholders, and especially information - Need to be empowered to make their own decisions within the context of their mission Team Performance Measures and Rewards - Teams need to know what performance measures are being use
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