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Chapter 6

COMM 292 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Social Loafing, Mental Models, Process Variable

Course Code
COMM 292
Angela Kelleher

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COMM 292: Observational Business
Chapter 6
Teams vs. Groups: What's the Difference?
Group: two or more people with a common relationship (no productivity needed)
Team: small number of people that work towards a common objective (accountable)
o Share leadership, individually accountable, purpose or mission, problem solving etc.
Why Have Teams Become So Popular?
Teams have greater flexibility compared to traditional departments/structures
Teams have the potential to be more productive, but must have the key characteristics
o More motivation, quickly assembly, deploy, refocus and disband
Types of Teams
Problem-Solving Teams:
5-12 employees from the same department who meet a once a few hours a week
o Discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency and the work environment
o Also can be planning teams, task forces or committees organized to get tasks done
Employees share ideas or suggestions, but do not get to implement suggested actions
Self-Managed Teams:
10-12 employees who take on many responsibilities of their former managers
o Includes planning/scheduling of work, assigning tasks, taking action etc.
Fully self-managed have their own members/leader and evaluate each other
Self-managed teams often perform better than teams with formally appointed leaders
Effectiveness of the team depends on the makeup, tasks being done and reward structure
Cross-Functional Teams:
Group of employees from different levels and areas that work to accomplish tasks
o Task force: a temporary cross-functional team
o Committee: group composed of members from different departments
Allows employees to exchange info, develop new ideas, solve problems and coordinate
Cross-functional teams that develop to create new products or work on complex problems
Gives teams the ability to work on projects without being watched by the organization
Virtual Teams:
Uses computers to tie together physically dispersed members in order to achieve a goal
o Most teams interact virtually by sharing links, documents, video conferencing etc.
Virtual teams do not have physical interaction and are less satisfied
o It is difficult to build trust, when team members have not met in person
o Virtual teams build trust through the tone or attitude of the conversations

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COMM 292: Observational Business
From Individual to Team Member
A set of expected behaviours of a person in a given position in a social unit
Role Conflict:
Role expectations: how others believe a person should act in a given situation
Role conflict: one role requirement may make it more difficult to comply with another role
o Creates internal tension and frustration
Role Ambiguity:
When a person is unclear about the expectations of his or her role
o Leads to confusion, stress, and bad feelings
Role overload/underload: too much or too little is expected of someone
Acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that are shared by the group's members
o Act as a means of influencing the behaviour of the group
Common social norms: performance, appearance, allocation of resources
The How and Why of Norms:
Norms develop gradually as group members become acquainted with function
o Explicit statements: instructions from the group's powerful member establishes norms
o Critical events: things that have happened in the past that change the group's dynamic
o Primacy: first behaviour pattern that emerges in a group often sets team expectations
o Carry-over behaviour: expectations brought with members from other groups/teams
Norms facilitate the group's survival, increases predictability of group members' behaviour,
reduces embarrassing interpersonal problems for group members and creates identity
Adjusting one's behaviour with the norms of the group
o Impacts members by forcing them to act in a way consistent with other members
Conformity shows why some groups are more prone to anti-social behaviour than others
o Anti-social groups may lead to individuals being anti-social on their own time
Stages of Group and Team Development
The Five-Stage Model:
Shows how individuals move from being independent to working interpedently as a group
Stage 1 Forming: first stage in a group development, characterized by much uncertainty
o Testing the behaviour of the group and starting to become a team
Stage 2 Storming: group development, characterized by intragroup conflict
o Conflict of ideas, leadership, and planning
Stage 3 Norming: development characterized by close relationships and cohesiveness
o Conflict resolution, developing relationships, and solidified structure
Stage 4 Performing: development when the group is fully functional
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