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Chapter 6

OB Ch.6 (c) Alyssa Leung

Course Code
COMM 292
Tracey Gurton

of 6
Alyssa Leung
September 23, 2010
Groups and Teamwork
Teams vs. Groups: What’s the Difference?
-group: two or more people with a common relationship
-a group of people with common skills who are committed for the same purpose/goal
-hold themselves and each other accountable
-a team has a PURPOSE/MISSION
-works to solve problems
-effectiveness is based on the team’s goals (not individual accomplishments)
Why Have Teams Become So Popular?
-employee talents are used more efficiently
-more flexible and responsive to changing events compared to traditional departments
-assemble, deploy, refocus, disband
Types of Teams
1. Problem Solving (process-improvement)
-5 to 12 employees
-find ways to improve quality, efficiency and work environment
-planning teams, task forces, committees
-hardly given authority to actually implement their ideas
2. Self-Managed (self-directed)
-10 to 15 employees
-employees now have more responsibilities and have interdependent jobs
-eg planning/scheduling work, taking action on problems
-often perform better than teams with appointed leaders
-can result in absenteeism and turnover rates
3. Cross-Functional (project)
-employees at the same level but from different work areas (eg HR, finance, etc)
-each member is to contribute knowledge from their OWN field
-task forces (temporary cross-functional teams)
-committees (members from different departments)
-eg CPR uses c-f teams to cut costs
-not easy to manage -> cope with diversity
-c-f teams that create new products or work on complex problems
-sheltered (so won’t be watched)
Alyssa Leung
September 23, 2010
-ignore structure and rules of organization
4. Virtual
-use computer technology to connect members
-suffer as there is less DIRECT interaction among members
-more task oriented, less social-emotional
-doubt of trust
-to be successful: established TRUST, MONITORED team progress, PUBLICATION of efforts throughout the organization
From Individual to Team Member
-an expected behaviour/task by a member of a group
-each person carries on different roles (work/family/social)
Role Conflict
-role expectations: how others expect a person to act in certain situations
-role conflict: when one role makes it difficult to fulfill another role
Role Ambiguity
-occurs when employee is unsure of his/her role
-confusion, stress, bad feelings
-role OVERLOAD: expected too much from employee
-role UNDERLOAD: too LITTLE is expected; employee feels he/she is not contributing
-standards of behavior that is acceptable and expected from group members (eg golfers stay quiet when a player is putting)
-common norms deal with:
-PERFORMANCE: hard work, quality, being on time
-APPEARANCE: dressed appropriately, look busy, loyalty
-SOCIAL ARRANGEMENT: interaction with co-workers/team members
-ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES: pay bills, assignments, use of tools/equipment
The “How” and “Why” of Norms
specific statements made by a member (eg no phone calls during a meeting)
critical precedents in the group’s history (eg injury while working beside a machine)
primacy (eg sitting in the same seats for class since first class)
carry-over behaviors: new members to a group bring their own ‘norms’ to the new group
-What makes norms so important?
assists in a group’s survival and success - protect from interference
members can anticipate each other’s actions and be prepare to respond
avoids interpersonal discomfort and awkward situations
encourages distinctive identity and values within a group
-changing your own behaviour to fit into the group
-group norms can PRESSURE members even though they may not agree with them
Alyssa Leung
September 23, 2010
Stages of Group and Team Development
The Five-Stage Model
1. FORMING - uncertainty
-first impression -> uncertain about the team’s purpose, structure and leadership
2. STORMING – intragroup conflict
-conflict over who has the control in the team
-interpersonal conflict is RESOLVED
-relationships develop and there is a strong sense of TEAM IDENTITY and CAMARADERIE
-norms are established
4. PERFORMING – fully functional
-there is significant progress within the group
-structure is FUNCTIONAL and ACCEPTED
-for temporary groups
-group prepares for DISBANDMENT -- wrapping up activities
The Punctuated-Equilibrium Model
-for temporary groups with deadlines
Phase 1
-first meeting
-framework of norms and assumptions
-period of inertia: team is set in a fixed course of action (cannot act on new insights)
Phase 2
-halfway b/w first meeting and deadline
-“midlife crisis”
-members realize work must be done and gets to work!
-new equilibrium or period of inertia
Creating Effective Teams
1. Resources and context related influences that make teams effective (eg trust, rewards)
2. Team composition (eg skills, diversity, flexibility)
3. Work design (eg autonomy, task identity)