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Chapter 7

Chapter 7


Department
Human Resources
Course Code
MHR 405
Professor
Sharon Matthews
Chapter
7

Page:
of 6
CHAPTER 7: TEAM DYNAMICS
WHAT IS A TEAM
Group: is two or more people having common interest, objectives and continuing interaction
Team: defined as two or more people with common objectives who are interdependent upon
each other to achieve a particular task and who hold themselves accountable to each other
All work teams are groups but not all groups are teams
While groups do not necessarily work interdependently to achieve an organizational
objective, teams do. Teams also emphasize goals and roles that are understood and agreed by
all, open dialogue and team driven behavior.
HOW TEAMS DIFFER
Task Interdependence
The degree of task-driven interaction among work team members. The nature of this
interdependence can be reciprocal, sequential or pooled
Pooled Interdependence
Some teams work like baseball teams, with individual members having set responsibilities
and the performance of the team resulting from the sum (pooling of) the performance of
individual members
When task interdependence is pooled, it means that team members work individually but
either draw from a pool of common inputs or pool their outputs
Sequential Interdependence
Other teams work like football teams through coordinated action or sequential
interdependence. Such teams rely on each other for resources with the output of one member
becoming the input of another
Reciprocal Interdependence
These teams work like doubles tennis teams, with individuals having primary yet flexible
responsibilities. In such teams, members have reciprocal interdependence, with work being
exchanged back and forth among them.
Different Types of Work Teams
Temporary or Permanent
Temporary teams include task forces, ad hoc committees, project teams and commissions of
inquiry
Permanent teams remain together and have ongoing responsibilities for specific functions in
the organization. E.g. Self managed work teams: are teams whose members have autonomy
to carry out interdependent tasks and make decisions that were once reserved for managers.
Also called self directed or autonomous teams
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Differentiated by Objectives
Such work teams go by the name of problem solving teams, process improvement teams,
quality circles
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
HOW TEAMS DEVELOP
1. Forming: the first stage of development characterized by politeness, superficiality and
uncertainty. Symptoms of this stage are silence, self consciousness, and superficiality
2. Storming: the second stage is characterized by conflict, confusion, power struggles, and the
emergence of cliques. Disagreements occur over goals and roles. To overcome these issues,
teams must focus on goals, identify issues, use supportive communication
3. Norming: the third stage is characterized by cohesion, trust and clarification of group roles
and norms. Teams have overcome interpersonal issues and have developed a stronger sense of
team identity. This leads to consensus of team objectives, member roles and behavioral norms
4. Performing: the fourth stage is when the team has achieved synergy and is reaching its full
potential. Not all teams reach this stage, and simply finishing a job doesnt mean the team has
reached the performing stage in terms of its development. When the team does reach this
stage, members focus their energy on task accomplishment and are characterized by shared
purpose, high levels of trust, a blurring of formal distinctions and clarity around core
competencies
5. Adjourning: is the final stage where attention is focused on wrapping up activities
The Punctuated Equilibrium Model of Team Development
Team development in temporary teams is different. The proposed model states that teams
rather than gradually developing over time, progress through an alternation of stasis and
sudden change. These phases appear to be task-deadline driven, with evidence that a
transition occurs around midpoint of the time assigned to the team. According to this model,
temporary teams experience an initial phase of inertia, punctuated by a transition phase
around the midpoint when team members realize that more work or better quality work needs
to be accomplished. Midpoint transition can be compared to midlife crisis.
TEAM EFFECTIVENESS
Team effectiveness: is considered to have been achieved when the following three criteria
have been met; the team survives, it meets its objectives and the needs of team members have
been satisfied to the extent that they would be willing to work together again
Team effectiveness depends on; organizational influence, team design influences, way team
members manage important internal process and individual behaviour
Organizational Influences on Team Effectiveness
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Organizational Sponsorship and Support
The support must achieve a balance between setting limits (so that individuals and team
doesnt stray away from the mission) and removing barriers (so that individuals can
accomplish their work)
Clear Team Mission
A clear team mission (overall purpose), whether assigned by the organizational sponsor or
self-determined is an indication that all members of the team agree to go in the same
direction
Resources and Access
Teams must be given access to required resources such as budget, work space, key
stakeholders and especially information. They need to be empowered to make their own
decisions within the context of their mission
Team Performance Measures and Rewards
Work teams need to know what performance measures are being used to assess their
effectiveness. The five evaluation criteria most commonly indentified were; problem solving,
quality of work, workload allocation, meeting of objective and team attitude
Team Design Influences on Team Effectiveness
Team Task
The nature of the task must be considered when selecting members and when deciding upon
the optimal size for the team
Team Size
The more the team members interact with each other, the more likely they will develop
understanding and interpretations. Smaller teams tend to be more effective due to constant
interaction.
Composition of Teams
Refers to the collection of the team members characteristics in terms of the skill mix, as well
as the degree of homogeneity and heterogeneity or diversity
For a team to be effective, a team must have the right skills in three areas; technical or
functional skills, problem solving and decision making and interpersonal skills
Internal Process Influences on Team Effectiveness
Goal Clarity and Agreement
Specific goals and priorities must be set before the project begins. This leads to all members
pulling in the same direction. This model, also called the GRPI model, is useful as an
approach to diagnosing team effectiveness and planning for improvement
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