BUS 272 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Videotelephony, Role Conflict, Absenteeism

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Chp 6: Groups and Teamwork
Group - Two or more people with a common relationship
o Do not necessarily engage in collective work that requires interdependent effort
Team - A small number of people who work closely together toward a common objective and are
accountable to one another
Organizations focus on effectiveness and efficiency and find teams a good way to mange talent
o Teams are more flexible and responsive to change
o Teams have capability to quickly assemble, deploy, refocus and disband
o Extensive use of teams to generate greater outputs with no increase in inputs
Types of Teams
4:48 PM
Four most common kinds of teams:
1. Problem-Solving Teams
Problem-Solving (Process-Improvement) Team - A group of 5 to 12 employees from the same
department who meet for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency,
and the work environment
o Are also planning teams, task forces, or committees
o Members share ideas on how to improve work processes and methods
These teams are rarely given the authority to implement any of their suggestions on how to
improve the things listed above
2. Self-Managed Teams
Self-Managed (Self-Directed) Team - A group of 10 to 15 employees who take on many of the
responsibilities of their former managers
o Planning, scheduling of work, assigning tasks, collectively controlling pace of work, making
operating decisions, taking action on problems
o Self-managed teams often perform better than appointed leaders
o Overall research on effectiveness has not been uniformly positive (sometimes have higher
absenteeism and turnover rates)
3. Cross-Functional Teams
Cross-Functional (Project) Team - A group of employees at about the same hierarchical level, but
from different work areas, who come together to accomplish a task
o Each individual is expected to contribute knowledge of his or her field
o Allows people from diverse areas to exchange information, develop new ideas, solve
problems, and coordinate projects
o Early stages often time-consuming as members learn to work with diversity
Task Force - A temporary cross-functional team
Committee - A group composed of members from different departments
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Skunkworks - Cross-functional teams that develop spontaneously to create new products or work
on complex problems
o Typically found in high tech sector and allowed to work on new ideas in isolation
4. Virtual Teams
Virtual Team - A team that uses computer technology to tie together physically dispersed
members in order to achieve a common goal
o Collaboration online through video conferencing, email
o Less direct interaction among members, lack of normal give-and-take of face-to-face
o Tend to be more task-oriented and exchange less social-emotional information
For virtual teams to be effective:
a. Trust is established among team members
b. Team progress is monitored closely
c. Effort and products of team are publicized through organization
From Individual to Team Member
Role - A set of expected behaviours of a person in a given position in a social unit
Role Expectations - How others believe a person should act in a given situation
Role Conflict - A situation in which an individual finds that complying with one role requirement
may make it more difficult to comply with another
Role Ambiguity - A person is unclear about his or her role
o Can lead to confusion, stress and bad feelings
Role Overload - Too much is expected of someone
Role Underload - Too little is expected of someone and that person feels that he or she is not
contributing to the group
Norms - Acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that are shared by the group's
o Formalized norms are written rules and procedures, most are informal
o Regarding performance, appearance, social arrangement, allocation of resources
Most norms develop as:
1. Explicit statements made by group member
2. Critical events in group's history
3. Primacy: first behavioural pattern that emerges sets expectations
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