Essay, 11 pages (2500 words)

Managing teams assignment

CONTENTS PAGE 1. INTRODUCTION 2. UNDERSTANDING GROUPS AND TEAMS 1. Difference Between Groups And Teams 3. TURNING GROUPS INTO EFFECTIVE TEAMS 1. Five Stages Of Group Development 2. Factors Of The Group Behaviour 3. Benefits Of Having An Effective Team 4. CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN MANAGING TEAMS 1. Contrast Between Different Types of Teams 2. Popularity Of Work Teams On Individualism 3. Diverse Work Teams 5. CONCLUSION 1. INTRODUCTION Teamwork has become an important part of the business, the quality and level of output produced by an effective teamwork can help an organisation to gain competitiveness in the market.

A well-managed team could contribute significantly to the success or downfall of the business organization. 2. UNDERSTANDING GROUPS & TEAMS Basically groups and teams are the same, but the objectives between the two are different. Griffin (2008, p. 385) states that: “ Groups can be defined as two or more individuals who interact with one another to accomplish certain goals or meet certain needs. Teams are group of members work intensely with each other to achieve a specific common goal or objective. ” 2. 1. Differences between group and team Teams are forms of work groups, but not all work groups are definitely teams.

The differences between the two terms are; ? Group is easier to manage and it is usually use for short term assignment. Work would be divided to individual according to their expertise and skills, so that they can easily get the job done. A group needs not to be involved in any collective work that requires joint effort ? Team require more development and maintenance than a group, and it is usually use for long term assignment. Team members work together as a whole equally distributing the tasks at hand regardless if they have the proper skills.

Therefore, each member of the team will have ample time to develop their abilities and to enhance their performance as a whole. They will have to spend time building trust and relationships with each team member. 3. TURNING GROUPS INTO EFFECTIVE TEAMS According to Robbins et al. (2006, p. 355), he summarizes the different characteristics between the group and team as shown in Appendix A. He also further evaluates the characteristics between the two as follows: “ Groups interact primarily to share information and to make decisions to help ach member do his or her job more efficiently and effectively. Teams work intensely on a specific, common goal using their positive synergy, individual and mutual accountability, and complementary skills. ” Teamwork generally produces better performances than individual work, as the most effective and efficient teamwork is produced when all the team members combined their individual efforts and work towards a common goal. 1. Five Stages Of Group Development Team develop over time, it is necessary for a work group to go through many stages to be form as an effective team.

According to Tuckman et al. (1977, pp. 419-27), he identifies five major stages of group development – ? Stage 1: Forming, ? Stage 2: Storming, ? Stage 3: Norming, ? Stage 4: Performing, ? Stage 5: Adjourning. These five stages are further explains in Appendix B. Most of the group are required to go through these five stages as they develop to be an effective team. 2. Factors Of The Group Behaviour There are factors that could affect the formal work group to become an effective work team. These factors are categorised into work-group inputs nd work-group processes, and lastly ended with the outcomes of increased effectiveness, higher performance and satisfaction, as well as future group compatibility as listed in Appendix C. In Appendix D, it further explained the factors affecting the work-group inputs and processes – which are the members’ roles, status systems, group sizes, norms and conformity, cohesiveness and conflict management. Team members must first develop some shared goals and values which will enable them to agree upon the teams’ purpose or mission. They have to align with their purpose or mission and work towards accomplishing the organisation goals. . 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. 3. Benefits Of Having An Effective Team Teams have the potential of exponentially empowering an organization as every member completes the other and in turn creates synergy. The most valued factors of teamwork are its efficiency. Work often gets done faster with teamwork. Teams that work well will have a huge impact to the organisational. According to Jones et al. (2003, p. 343) as shown in Appendix E, he explains the key benefits of having an effective team; • High-quality performance People working in a group are able to produce more or higher-quality outputs as all their individual effort were combined. Better customers’ services The different types of expertise and knowledge from the team members could help to improve the customers’ needs and desires. • Improved creativity Well-organised teamwork could help to implement more ideas for new products, improve new technologies and better services to gain competitiveness in the market. • Increase of employees’ motivation and satisfaction By working as a team, it could help to increase the motivation and satisfaction of individual team member than having to work on their own. 4. CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN MANAGING TEAMS A team manager could face with various issues in managing teams.

The contemporary issues which they need to know are; • Teams and workforce diversity Team members from diverse countries might have different cultures and body languages which could cause miscommunications between members. • Mature team members Mature team members are particularly prone to suffer from groupthink. As a result, these members are reluctant to accept new ideas and could cause communication breakdown with the rest of the team members. • Social loafing Social loafing engenders negative consequences that affect both the team as a whole as well as the individual.

Social loafing who fails to contribute equally could cause dissatisfaction among members. These factors could result in less productivity. 1. Contrast Between Different Types of Teams Robbins (2003, p. 330) claims that the four most common types of teams use in today’s organisation are self-managed teams, cross-functional teams, virtual teams and face-to-face teams as shown in Appendix F. 1. Self-Managed Teams A self-managed team is responsible for a task area without supervision and with authority to influence and control group membership and behaviour. The advantages: Self-managed teams offer a number of potential advantages over traditionally managed teams, including stronger commitment, improved quality, enhanced efficiency as well as faster product and service development. ? The disadvantages: Self-managed teams are difficult to implement, and they risk failure when used in inappropriate situations or without sufficient leadership and support. Self-managed work teams have higher absenteeism and turnover rates as compared to traditionally managed teams. 2. Cross-Functional Teams

A cross-functional team is a team composed of at least three members from diverse functional entities working together towards a common goal. This team will have members with different functional experiences and abilities, and they are likely come from different departments within the organization. An example of a cross-functional team structure is shown on Appendix G. ? The advantages: Cross-functional teams helps to improve coordination and integration, span organizational boundaries, and reduce the production cycle time in new product development.

Cross-functional teams can improve problem solving and to achieve customer satisfaction. Individuals have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects with a variety of individuals from across the organization. ? The disadvantages: Cross-functional teams will face extra pressure due having multiple assignments of the different role at the same time. Cross-functional team could affect the professional growth of the team members as they focused on very narrow areas restricted to a single project. Due to the various departments they are from, they could have conflicts among the team members.

At the same time, they could find themselves hard to manage well their time and required to attend more frequent meetings. 3. Virtual Teams Virtual teams comprise members who rarely meet and interact through different means of information technology including phones, faxes, e-mail, computer nets and video-conferencing. ? The advantages: Virtual teams are better in their productivity as their personal flexibility time is achieved and not limited to the fixed office hours. With virtual teams located in different parts of the global world, and they are able to response faster to the worldwide market demands.

As the virtual teams could be formed by members with different types of knowledge spread across the globe, which it can be very beneficial to an organisation. ? The disadvantages: The virtual team members will face with conflict issues caused by lack of physical interaction due to the constraints in virtual communication mediums. Virtual teams will have obstacles due to the restrictions of the network that will lead to miscommunication and lack of trust between their team. Poor leadership will cause any team to fail if they have poor team management.

If the team members are lazy or incompetent could also eventually cause the project to fail. 4. Face-to-face Teams Face-to-face team is a team of people who perform specific organizational functions with members from several vertical levels of the hierarchy, and to work together face-to-face to carry out the same or similar functions. ? The advantages: Face-to-face teams get to learn from each another which could help to strengthen the bonding among the team members. It reinforced the importance of each of their roles within the team.

By working together, they are able to communicate well and understand each team member by body language through a face-to-face meeting. Eventually the productivity in the teams will increase with good team works. ? The disadvantages: The face-to-face teams have less flexibility in their working time as it is more time consuming to have a face-to-face meeting with all members together. They could face with lack of expertise due to the restriction of working location. 2. Popularity Of Work Teams On Individualism In the United States, it is more of a natural inclination to be individualism as opposed to teamwork.

Perhaps United States is a country based on freedoms. They believe that individualism is best as compared to teamwork, as organizational objectives cannot be achieved unless every member in the team works in harmony. 3. Diverse Work Teams The Financial Times (2011) states “ With increasing globalisation, many organisations face tougher competition at the same time they are working in a more complex environment, needing to coordinate geographically dispersed operations and a cross-cultural workforce. This leads to diverse teams becoming more common at all levels of the organisation.

Diversity can be based on various characteristics such as gender, age, nationality, ethnic and or cultural group etc, or on indicators of cognitive diversity such as international experience, education, industry and work experience that can all lead to different perspectives. ” (Citied http://lexicon. ft. com/Term? term= diverse-teams, 19 September 2011) ? The advantages: Diverse work teams focus on a common goal and work towards a universal solution. With people of different backgrounds and cultures, the group can help prevent groupthink.

Diversity provides a greater variety of perspectives and ideas, which can lead to more creative solutions. Diversity team is a vital strategic resource for competitive advantage. ? The disadvantages: Diverse work teams focus on challenges within the international team related to language, culture, stereotypes, preconceptions, and differing value systems. These challenges make it difficult for a team to develop team cohesiveness and foster collaboration, which then leads to mistrust, miscommunication and misunderstanding. 5. CONCLUSION Effective teamwork is crucial to an organisation.

It could significantly affect the business if having a poorly organised and fragmented team. The key advantage of good teamwork is a better end result, and more responsive to the changing needs of the global market. Slechta says “ Effective teamwork is essential to the success of any business. As “ no man is an island,” the positive effects of productive teamwork can energize an entire organization, just as the negative effects of a lack of teamwork can cripple an organization. An essential ingredient to effective teamwork is attracting and keeping the right team members.

No matter how hard a group of people try to work together and create an effective team, without the right people for the job, the team will inevitably fail. ” (Citied http://www. lmi-inc. com/Articles/Teamwork_Components. pdf, 2 September 2011) Appendix A Differences between groups and teams Source from Robbins et al. (2005, p. 354) | WORK GROUPS | WORK TEAMS | | Individual accountability | Individual and mutual | | Share information and erspectives | Discussion, decision making, problem solving, planning | | Focus on individual goals | Focus on team goals | | Individual performance | Collective performance | | Concerns with own outcomes and challenges | Concerns with outcomes of all members and the challenges to face | | Neutral synergy | Positive synergy | | Random and varied skills | Complementary skills | Appendix B Stages of group development Cited from Tuckman et al. (1977, pp. 419-27) | Stage 1 | Forming | The first stage which group members try to assess the ground rules that apply to a task and to | | | | group interaction. | | | Stage 2 | Storming | The second stage which group members frequently are in conflict with each other as they locate | | | | and resolve differences of opinion about key issues. | | | | Stage 3 | Norming | The third stage which group members begin to build group cohesion, as well as develop a | | | | consensus about norms for performing a task and relating to each other. | | | | Stage 4 | Performing | The fourth stage which energy is channelled toward a task and in which norms support teamwork. | | | Stage 5 | Adjourning | The fifth stage which group members prepare for disengagement as the group nears successful | | | | completion of its goals. | Appendix C General model of the work group behaviour Appendix D Factors of the work group | FACTORS | MEANINGS | | INPUTS | Member Roles | Set of expected behaviours attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit. | | | Status System | Prestige grading, position or rank within a group which may be informally conferred by characteristics such| | | | as education, age, skill or experience. | | Group Sizes | The size of a group will affect the group’s overall behaviour. Members may reduce their individual efforts | | | | and contributions when the group increases in size. | | PROCESSES| Norms and Conformity | Acceptable standards or expectations shared by the group’s members. The common classes of norms are the | | | | work output levels, absenteeism, promptness and the amount of socialising on the job. | | | Group Cohesiveness | The degree to which group members are attracted to one another and share the group’s goals (e. g. high | | | | output, work quality, cooperation with individuals). | | Conflict management | Perceived incompatible differences that result in interference or opposition. Conflict could be destructive| | | | and may prevent a group from achieving its goals. Conflicts could indicate problem within the group if it | | | | is not well managed. | Appendix E Team Effective Model Cited from Jones (2003, p. 342-343) Appendix F Common types of teams in organisation Cited from Robbins (2003, p. 330) Appendix G Cross-Functional Teams structure in organisation Cited from: http://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/Five-Approaches-to-Organizational-Design. topicArticleId-8944, articleId-8882. html [pic] REFERENCE LIST 1. Jones, G. R. , et al. 2003.

Essentials of Contemporary Management, International Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. 2. Griffin, R. W. 2008. Fundamentals of Management, 5th Edition. USA: Cengage Learning, Inc. 3. Robbins, S. P. , et al. 2003. Foundations of Management. Australia: Pearson Education. 4. Robbins, S. P. , et al. 2005. Management, 8th Edition. Canada: Pearson Education. 5. Robbins, S. P. , et al. 2006. Management, 4th Edition. Australia: Pearson Education. 6. Slechta, Randy. Teamwork: Components of an Effective Team. Leadership Management International, Inc. Available from: http://www. lmi-inc. com/Articles/Teamwork_Components. pdf. Citied 2 September 2011. 7. Tuckman, B. W. et al. 1977.

Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited: Group and Organisation Studies, Volume 2: pp. 419-27. 8. Cliffsnotes. com, 2011. Five Approaches to Organizational Design: Team structure. Available from: http://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/Five-Approaches-to-Organizational-Design. topicArticleId-8944, articleId-8882. html, Cited 19 September 2011. 9. The Financial Times, 2011. Diverse Teams. Available from: http://lexicon. ft. com/Term? term= diverse-teams, Cited 19 September 2011. ———————– OUTCOMES PROCESSES INPUTS 1. Effectiveness 2. Performance and Satisfaction 3. Group Compatibility 1. Norms and Conformity 2. Group Cohesiveness 3. Conflict Management 1. Member Roles 2. Status System 3. Group Sizes GAIN

A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AN EFFECTIVE TEAM CAN HIGH-QUALITY PERFORMANCE BETTER CUSTOMERS’ SERVICES IMPROVED CREATIVITY INCREASE MOTIVATION AND SATISFACTION A team that operates without a manager and is responsible for a complete work process or segment. A team that is composed of a manager and their subordinates from a particular functional area. Self-Managed Team Functional Team Cross-Functional Team A team that consists of employees from about the same hierarchical level but from different work areas in the organisation. • A team that uses computer technology to link physically dispersed members in order to achieve a common goal. Virtual Team

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