The word team comes from the old English, Fresian and norse word fro a bridle, thence to a set of draught animals harnessed together. According to Annett and Stanton (2000) “A number of persons involved in joint action. ” In this modern era, Team a psychological group whose members share a common goal that they pursue collaboratively. According to Kerr (1995), “Teams are replacing individuals as the basic building blocks of organizations. ” In 2000 Kerr estimates teamworking was a strategy employed by 90% of Fortune 500 companies.
Team-oriented workgroups appear in numerous case studies promising exceptional results in improved efficiency and increased productivity. Organisations therefore perceive operational advantage in teams, worthy of the expense and inevitable organisational structural changes required. Teamworking is now “the most frequent topic taught in company training programs of 200 Fortune 500 companies. ” I will attempt to define how teams operate within organisations, how the organisation expects teams to produce benefits, and how the processes within teams and external sources contributes to group discussion and decision making.
I will discuss the role of communication as the lynchpin of team strategy, and conclude by examining the scope of a manager in achieving increased performance for the team, ensuring they can become more than the sum of their parts. Many studies and experiments have been conducted in the past to find out what makes individuals bond closely in a team. There are many reports formed over the results of these studies and the findings are closely examined and implemented by many companies to improve their team’s affectivity and productivity.
From these studies, an important finding was that like in most cases, job satisfaction is found to influence the quality of work done by individuals and their contributions to the team. ‘competence motivation'(Handy, Charles B (1993) is the term used when individuals are found to be motivated when they value their team and work they are doing and when they are proud of the team they represent. Individuals will be most committed to their team when the task is of high importance to them and will therefore have less interest in their own objectives.
Studies have also shown that working in teams is more effective for completing complex projects than it is if it was to be done by individuals. In general, teams work well in problem solving tasks as they can produce better evaluated and more thought through ideas than individuals. Teams tend to share responsibility for decisions and therefore are found to be more adventurous and take more risks. This sometimes pays off when for example, a team may do things that might not follow common procedures but will produce the same outcome, with less time and money having been spent.
Tuckman (1965) discovered that teams usually go through five stages of growth: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing. At the Forming stage, team members are introduced. They state why they were chosen or volunteered for and what they hope to accomplish within the team. In the storming stage, all members have their own ideas as to how the process should look, and personal agendas often come out. Storming is probably the most difficult stage for the team.
The team members often conflict and argue in this stage as many individuals have their own opinions on how the problem should be tackled and therefore slow progress of the project. In the Norming stage, individual conflicts reduce as the team seeks to establish methods and techniques to tackle the task. At the performing stage, the team begins diagnosing, problem solving, and implementing changes. By this point, team members have discovered and accepted other’s strengths and weaknesses and have established their roles.
International team means ‘across culture team’. Now let’s concentrate on what makes a successful team. The leadership role is an important factor. In a number of studies, it has been found that ‘a powerful leader has a positive effect on the morale of a group’ (Handy, Charles B (1993). It is a known fact that people like working under a respected leader who possesses lots of knowledge and experience in the field of work. In general, groups are more productive when they have an influential leadership. A good leader sets high standards and targets for the group.
A study by Deutch, M (1949) found that when good leadership is applied to co-operative groups, they tend to: “be more productive in quantity, produce higher quality and have a stronger push to complete the task”. Another factor that makes a team successful is how satisfied the members are in the team. I mentioned this earlier but it is found in the studies of Hawthorne that “happy groups are also productive ones” (Buchanan, David A and Huczynski, Andrea A 1977). One of the aims of the management within an organization is to make team members bond with each other and satisfy their social needs.
Whether it’s through the environment they work in or the amount of freedom given to them, satisfaction in their job results in high productivity. The Kretch, Crutchfield and Ballachey model of group functioning 1962 was also used to illustrate how different independent variables could affect the outcome of group productivity and member satisfaction. Group cohesion is another factor that increases affectivity in a team because when members all have the same positive drive to reach their targets; the motivation spears them to do better.
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