CHAPTER 7: TEAM DYNAMICS AND EFFECTIVNESS
WHAT IS A TEAM?
A team is two or more peopled with a common goal who are interdependent upon each other to achieve a particular
task and who hold themselves accountable to each other.
A group is two or more people with common interests and continuing interaction.
While groups do not necessarily have task interdependence, teams do. Task Interdependence is the degree of task-
driven interaction among work team members.
TASK INTERDEPENDENCE IN TEAMS
The nature of the interdependence among teams can vary greatly.
Team members work individually but either draw from a pool of common inputs or pool their outputs. Example:
Baseball teams, with individual members having a set of responsibilities and the performance of the team results from
the sum of individual performances, and Orchestra.
Such teams rely on each other for resources with the output of one member becoming the input of another such as a
football team through coordinated action or sequential interdependence.
Members have reciprocal interdependence with work being exchanged back and forth. This is the highest form of task
interdependence of the three and it requires the best team work. Example: doubles tennis teams, emergency room.
TYPES OF WORK RELATED TEAMS
→Function and Cross Functional Teams
Functional Teams includes employees who work together daily on similar tasks and must coordinate their efforts. Can
either be managed by a formal leader or are self managed.
Self-managed Permanent teams that are not responsible for a specific function*:
*Cross-Functional teams: include employees at about the same level but from different work areas, who work together
to solves problems or have ongoing responsibility for a certain process or function.
→Problem-Solving, Self-Directed, and Virtual Teams
In problem solving teams members focus on a specific issue and develop a potential solution, and are often empowered
to take action with defined limits. One type of problem-solving team is called, *quality circle: they are small groups of
employees who work voluntarily on company time, typically one hour per week (periodically), to address work related
problems. Popular Japanese management method by American Edward Deming, led to TQM.
Self-Directed(managed) work teams (SDWTs) are teams whose members have autonomy to carry out interdependent
tasks and make decisions once reserved for managers. Made up of natural work groups who are respectively
responsible for production the company’s goods and getting them to the market. Empowered to plan, implement, and
control all work processes.
A virtual team is one whose members are separated by distance, time, or organizational boundaries but are linked by
communication technologies. Enable companies to address some of the unique challenges of new workforce
HOW TEAMS DEVELOP: Tuckman’s classic five stage model of team development.
1.Forming: the first stage of development characterized by politeness, superficiality, and uncertainty. Symptoms are
silence, self consciousness. Remain in “pseudo-work” such as discussion about activities unrelated to the team goals.
2.Storming: characterized by conflict, confusion, and the emergence of cliques as team members struggle over issues of
leadership and control. These are called fault lines- subgroups or coalition that emerge naturally within teams, typically
along various demographic lines.
3.Norming: characterized by cohesion, trust, and clarification of group norms and roles. Team has overcome
interpersonal issues and developed a stronger sense of trust and identity.
4.Performing: when the team has achieved synergy and is reaching its full potential. Called “hot teams” Hot teams are
those in which work is engaging and when they day ends, people look forward to tomorrow. Not all teams reach this
stage, and finishing a job doesn’t mean the team has reached the performing stage in terms of development. Members
focus on energy on task accomplishment and are characterized by shared purpose, high levels of trust.
5.Adjourning: is the final stage of team development for temporary teams, characterized by concern with wrapping up.
The Punctuated Equilibrium Model
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 is considered to have been achieved when the following three criteria have been met:
(1) the team survives
(2)it meets or exceeds its objectives
(3)the needs of team members have been satisfied to the extent that they would be willing to work together again
OVERALL TEAM EFFECTIVENESS MODEL (OTEM)
1-Team effectiveness depends on organizational context
•Organizational Culture, Sponsorship and Support
-If the organizational culture is cooperative, teams embedded in it, especially diverse ones are more likely to be
-The support must achieve a balance between setting limits (individuals don’t stray) and removing barriers individuals
can accomplish work).
-The organizational sponsor must provide clear direction about team’s overall purpose and coach the team.
•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 mission.
-for teams to be effective, they also need to be given the power to network externally.
•Team performance measures and rewards
-Work teams need to know what performance measures are being used to assess their effectiveness.
-Five evaluation criteria: problem solving, quality of work, workload allocation, meeting of objective and team attitude.
-Organizations have reward system for individual performances and investments have to be made in designing,
implementing and evaluating effective team rewards.
2-Team effectiveness depends on how the team is set up and designed
•Team task, interdependence, and size
-The size of the team has been found to influence the team effectiveness. Katzenbach (2-25 people)
-Smaller teams tend to be more effective because large numbers of people have trouble interaction constructively.
-optimum size depends on nature of task, technology and the type of interdependence that is required.
-If teak tasks involves primarily pooled interdependence = adding skilled team members = increase productivity
•Team member characteristics and diversity
-Team composition refers to the collection of the team members’ characteristics in terms of the skill mix, as well as the
amount of diversity among team members.
-For teams to be effective they need right mix of skills: technical/functional skills, problem solving and decision making
along with interpersonal skills.
-diversity encompasses all forms of individual differences. The more diverse the team, the less knowledge is shared
among members and more interpersonal conflict, but they tend to be more effective in finding creative solutions to
3-Team effectiveness depends on the way the team manages its internal processes
•Team Mission and goals
- Richard Hackman (Harvard), the most significant barrier to team effectiveness is the existence of unclear goals.
-A mission is the overall purpose of a team, the raison d’etere for its existence.
-temporary teams: “recommend things”. Challenge is to get off to a quick start & plan for ultimate handoff
-Permanent teams: to make or do things. Challenges “critical delivery points” (katzenbach)where product gets designed
-Goals are the action strategies leaders create and follow to accomplish the organizations purpose and vision. Goals
need to be clear and agreed by all members.
•Team Roles: task facilitation, relationship building
-A role is a set of behaviours that are expected of a person occupying a particular position in a social unit.
-In order to get a job done, team members take “task-facilitating roles” that involve activities directly related to the
effective completion of the team’s work.
-They also take on relationship-building roles that involve activities directed towards building team-centred feelings and
social interactions. By taking these vital roles team members are sharing leadership.
•Norms, cohesiveness, and the problem of groupthink
-Norms: the informal, unwritten rules and patterns of behaviour that are accepted and expected by members of a team.
Teams are more effective when they have productive norms of behaviour.
-Cohesiveness: the strength of a member’s desire to remain in a team and their commitment to it. Team cohesiveness is
influenced by a number of factors, most notably time, size, prestige of the time, external pressure and competition.
-Highly cohesive teams can suffer from a weakness in decision making called groupthink-a phenomenon in which peer
pressure and self-censorship during team decision making overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of
•Communication, conflict and trust
-Supportive communication: communication, in difficult circumstances, that addresses the problem at hand while
seeking to preserve a positive relationship between the communicators.
-Effective communication and conflict management are important when teams may experience intragroup conflict:
conflict that occurs within a single team or group and interpersonal conflict: occurs between two or more individuals.
-In order for team members to get through the storming stage and being norming, they have to develop trust, which is
the willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of another party and depends upon perceived.
4-The degree to which team members try to block the team’s progress
•Individual behaviours that reduce team effectiveness
Individual Blocking roles: destroy morale and cohesiveness and reduce team effectiveness.
Common blocking roles include: dominating, overanalyzing, stalling, remaining passive, overgeneralizing, etc.
Social Loafing: occurs when individuals put forth less effort when working in a team than they do when working alone. It
is commonly referred to as free-riding. Potential causes of it include a failure to identify individual contributions, lack of
challenge, low team cohesiveness, and lack of peer appraisal.
MANAGING DIVERSE AND MULTICULTURAL TEAMS
The complexity of diversity may also make it difficult to implement empowerment processes unless the impacts of
cultural differences are taken into account.
Global Reality: Three types of multicultural teams:
Token teams: all but one member come from the same background.
Bicultural teams: two or more members represent each of two distinct cultures
Multicultural teams: which members represent three or more ethnic backgrounds.