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Chapter 6

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


Department
Commerce
Course Code
COMM 292
Professor
Angela Kelleher
Chapter
6

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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
Skunkworks:
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
Roles:
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
Norms:
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
Conformity:
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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