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Chapter 10

Teams, Diversity and Communication - Chapter 10.docx

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Organization Studies
ORGS 1000
Frank Miller

Teams, Diversity and Communication Logitech - Company involved in computer navigation, Internet communications, digital music, home entertainment control and gaming - Uses teams with highly specialized members who are dispersed across the globe - Members of a team finished their workday in one country and then electronically handed off the work to team members in another country who arrived at the office - Cultural and language differences among team members can create misunderstandings Team Characteristics and Diversity - Team: consists of two or more people who work interdependently over some time period to accomplish common goals related to some task0oriented purpose - Interactions among members within these teams revolve around deeper dependence on one another than interactions within groups - Interactions occur with a specific task-related purpose - Due to complexity of work at hand, teamwork is becoming vital - Groups can pool complementary knowledge and skills - Action teams are complex in execution but limited in duration (surgical team) Characteristics used to Describe Teams - Essential to recognize the purpose of the team, length of existence and amount of time involvement the team requires of its members Types of Teams Work Teams - Designed to be relatively permanent; purpose is to produce goods/services and require full-time commitment from members - Traditional work team: Members have very specific sets of job duties and decision making confined to activities required by duties - Self-managed work teams: members not locked in specific jobs; jointly decide how to organize themselves and carry out the work o Includes production, maintenance and sales teams Management Teams - Designed to be relatively permanent; participate in managerial level tasks that affect the entire organization - Responsible or coordinating activities of organizational subunits - Help organizations achieve long term goals - Top management tea: senior executives make decisions about strategic direction of the company - Member commitment offset by responsibilities they have in leading their unit Parallel Teams - Composed of members from various jobs who provide recommendations to managers about issues that run parallel to organization’s production process - Require part time commitment; members can be permanent of temporary - Quality circle: consists of individuals who normally perform core production tasks but meet regularly to identify production related problems and opportunities for improvement o Includes committees and advisory council Project Teams - Formed to take one time tasks that are complex and require a lot of input from members with different types of training and expertise - Some members work full time while other teams demand part time commitment o Includes project design team, planning team and research group Action Teams - Perform tasks that are normally limited in duration; tasks are very complex and take place in contexts that are highly visible to an audience or are of highly challenging nature o Includes surgical and sports team, musical group and expedition team Variations within Team Types - Virtual teams: teams I which the members are geographically dispersed and interdependent activity occurs though electronic communication; e-mail or instant messaging 5 Stages of Development - Forming: members orient themselves by trying to understand their boundaries in the team; get fee for what is expected, designate the leader and get to know others - Storming: members remain committed to ideas they bring; initial unwillingness to accommodate others’ ides triggers conflict - Norming: members realize that they need to work together and begin to cooperate; develop expectations and norms regarding member responsibilities - Performing: members are comfortable at working within their roles and team makes progress towards goals - Adjourning: members experience anxiety and other emotions as they disengage and separate from the team o Development sequence less applicable in teams that follow pattern of punctuated equilibrium  Initially, members make assumptions and establish pattern of behaviour that lasts for first half of its life  Pattern continues to dominate the team’s behaviour as it settles into inertia  At midway point: members realize that they have to change their task pattern to complete work on time  During transition: members plan new approach Team Interdependence Task Interdependence - Refers to degree to which team members interact with and rely on other members for information, materials and resources needed to accomplish work for the team - Pooled interdependence: requires lowest degree of coordination o Members complete their work assignments independently and work is piled up to represent the group’s output o Example: many people go on a fishing trip; production would be the weight of the total fish caught; everyone works independently - Sequential interdependence: difference tasks are done in prescribed order and group is structured so that members specialize in these tasks o Interaction only occurs between members who perform tasks that are next to each other in the sequence o Example: assembly line of production - Reciprocal interdependence: members interact with a subset of other members to complete the work o Example: consider team of people involved in a business that designs custom homes for wealthy clients  Sales person might have to meet with the designers to assist the customer in selection of additional features; materials and colours; which would then need to be included in revision of the plan by an architect - Comprehensive interdependence: highest level of interaction and coordination among members o Each member has great discretion in terms of what they do and with whom their interact Goal Interdependence - Exists when team members have a shared vision of the team’s goal and align their individual goals with that vision - Essential to have a formalized mission statement that members buy into; helps increase feelings of ownership towards the mission itself and outline member responsibilities Outcome Interdependence - Exists when team members share in the rewards that the team earns; pay, bonuses, formal feedback and recognition, time off and continued team survival - Team members rely on others for rewards they receive Team Composition - Mix of the various characteristics that describe the individuals who work in the team - Members must be able to perform roles effectively and cooperate with one another Member Roles - Role: defined as a pattern of behaviour a person is expected to display in a given context - Leader staff teams: leader makes the decisions for the team and provides direction and control over members who perform assigned tasks o Team task roles: refer to behaviours that directly facilitate the accomplishment of team tasks;; devil’s advocate, orienter, and energizer  o Team building roles: refer to behaviours that influence the quality of the team’s social climate; harmonizers, encouragers and compromisers o Individualistic roles: reflect behaviours that benefit the individual at the expense of the team; aggressor, recognition seeker and dominator; fosters negative feelings among members Member Ability - Essential to be able to combine individual efforts to accomplish team goals and become involved in several different aspects of team’s tasks - Disjunctive tasks: members possessing highest level of ability relevant to the task will have most influence on effectiveness of the team - Conjunctive tasks: team’s performance depends on abilities of the weakest link; example: race car pit stop - Additive tasks: contributions resulting from abilities of every member add up to determine team performance; fundraising Member Personality - Team full of highly agreeable members will behave in a way that enhances harmony t expense of task accomplishment; may be less apt to speak up and offer constructive criticism - Essential for members to be conscientious - Characteristic of extraversion is relevant to team composition; improves social climate; power struggle may occur because extraverted people tend to be assertive and dominant Team Diversity - Degree to which team members are different from one another - Value in diversity problem solving approach: theory that supports team diversity because it provides a larger pool of knowledge and perspectives o Knowledge is shared and integrated - Similarity attraction approach: theory explaining that team diversity can be counterproductive because people tend to avoid interacting with others who are unlike them - Surface level diversity: refers to diversity regarding observable attributes; race, ethnicity, sex and age - Deep level diversity: refers to diversity of attributes that are inferred though observation or experiences; one’s values/personality, communication styles and attitudes Team Size - Management and project teams engage in work that is complex and knowledge intensive so require more workers - Production teams engage in routine tasks that are less complex; having too many members is unnecessary - In large multicultural
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