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Chapter 13 - Groups and Teams

13.1 Groups versus Teams

Why teamwork is important?

o Increased productivity an speed, reduced costs, improved quality, reduced
destructive internal competition and improved workplace cohesiveness
Groups and Teams, How do they differ?

p Group two or more

freely interacting
individuals who share
collective norms, share
collective goals, and
have a common identity

m Team
a small group of
people with

complementary skills
who are committed to a
common purpose, goal
and approach for which
they hold themselves
mutually accountable

Formal v informal groups

o Formal group group established to do something productive for the
organization and is headed by a leader
May be permanent or temporary and in the form of division or department
o Informal group formed by people seeking friendship and has no
officially appointed leader, but a leader may form from the membership
Collection of friends or a bowling team
o Informal groups through gossip an chatter may sabotage the plans of formal
Work teams for four purposes
o Various types of work teams
Continuous improvement team volunteers of workers/supervisors that
meet intermittently to discuss workplace problems
Cross-functional team composed of people from different
departments that pursue a common objective
Problem-solving team workers who meet as a temporary team to solve a
Self-managed team workers are trained to do all their jobs in a unit and
have no direct supervisor
Top-management team - members consist of the top head of offices
Virtual team members interact by computer networks
Work team members engage in collective work requiring coordinated
o Four Purposes
Advice Teams broaden the information base for managerial
Production Teams responsible for performing day to day
Project teams do creative problem solving
Action Teams tasks that require people with specialized training
and a high degree of coordination

Self- Managed Teams

o Continuous Improvement Teams consist of small groups of volunteers
or workers and supervisors who meet intermittently to discuss
workplace and quality related problems
o Self-managed team workers are trained to do all their jobs in a unit
and have no direct supervisor
New Technology self-managed teams require special tech
New organization structural redesign of the organization must take place
because self-managed teams are an integral part of the organization

13.2 Stages of Group and Team Development






1: Forming (why are we here?)

Forming process of getting oriented and getting acquainted
Ice breakers and figuring out goals and who is in charge
What leader should do?
Take this period to assume permanent control
Allow time for people to become acquainted
2: Storming (why are we fighting over who does what and who is in charge?)
Storming emergence of individual personalities and roles and conflicts
within the group
Time of testing the leaders policies and assumptions
What leader should do?
Encourage members to suggest ideas and voice conflicts and
3: Norming (can we agree on roles and work together?)
Norming conflicts are resolved, close relationships develop and unity
and harmony emerge
At this stage, group may evolve into a team
Group cohesiveness a we feeling binding group members together
What leader should do?
Leader should emphasize unity and help identify team goals + values
4: Performing (can we do the job properly?)
Performing members concentrate on solving problems and completing
the assigned task
What leader should do?
Allow members the empowerment they need to work on tasks
5: Adjourning (can we help members transition out?)
Adjourning members prepare for disbandment
What leader should do?
Rituals to celebrate the end and new beginnings
Parties, award and ceremonies

13.3 Building Effective Teams

Performance goals and feedback

o Teams like individuals need measurable goals and feedback of their performance
Motivation through mutual accountability
o Key part in motivating members for team effort: being mutually accountable to
other members of the team rather than to a supervisor to foster trust and
Size: Small or large teams?
o Small Teams (with 9 or fewer members) for better interaction and morale

Better interaction offer more opportunity for personal discussion
and participation
Better morale better able to see the worth of their individual
contribution + more highly committed and satisfied
Fewer resources less knowledge due to fewer hands
Possibly less innovation may be too small and show less creativity
Unfair work distribution uneven distribution of work among
o Large teams (10-16 members) for more resources and division of labor
More resources more knowledge and experience etc
Division of labor work is divided to particular tasks that
are assigned to particular workers
Less interaction less sharing of personal information etc. May lead
to cliques
Lower morale express more disagreements due to being less able
to see the worth of individual contributions
Social loafing tendency of people to exert less effort when
working in groups than working alone
Roles: How team members are expected to behave
o Roles socially determined expectations of how individuals should
behave in specific situations
Task Roles consists of behavior that concentrates on getting the
teams tasks done
Maintenance Roles behavior that fosters constructive
relationships among team members
Norms: Unwritten rules for team members
o Norms general guidelines or rules of behavior that most group
members follow
o 4 reasons why norms are enforced?
To help the group survive
To clarify role expectations
To help individuals avoid embarrassing situations
To emphasize the groups important values and identity
Cohesiveness: Importance of togetherness
o Cohesiveness tendency of a group or a team to stick together
o 8 factors that build collaborative teams
Investing in signature relationship practices
Modeling collaborative behavior
Creating a gift culture
Ensuring the requisite skills
Supporting a strong sense of community
Assigning team leaders that are both task and relationship oriented
Building on heritage relationship
Understanding role clarity and task ambiguity
Groupthink: When peer pressure discourages OTB thinking
o Groupthink a cohesive groups willingness to consider alternatives
Example groupthink was a major factor in US invasion of Iraq as too
many people in government tended to think alike and therefore failed to
challenge basic assumption about Iraqs weapons
o Symptoms of Groupthink
Invulnerability, inherent morality and stereotyping of opposition

Members may be so reassured of their righteousness that they

ignore ethical implications
Rationalization and self-censorship
Illusion of unanimity, peer pressure and mind guards
Groupthink versus the wisdom of crowds
Results of Groupthink: Decision making defects
Reduction in alternative ideas
Limiting of other information
Preventing Groupthink
Allow criticism someone should be told to be a critical evaluator, able to
actively voice objections and doubts
Allow other perspectives fresh perspectives should be introduced

13.4 Managing Conflict

Nature of Conflict
o Conflict process in which one party perceives that its interests are
being opposed or negatively affected by another party
Negative conflict (bad for organizations) conflict that hinders
the organizations performance/threatens its interests
Constructive conflict (good for organizations) benefits the main
purpose of the organization and serves its interests
Can too little/much conflict affect performance?
o Too little conflict brings upon indolence as work groups and teams tend to be
plagued by apathy, lack of creativity and missed deadlines
o Too much conflict brings upon warfare because of political infighting and lack of
o MODERATE conflict to be sought after
Three Kinds of Conflicts
o Personality conflict interpersonal opposition based on personal
dislike, disagreement, or differing styles
Personality clashes individual differences cannot be resolves
Competition for scarce resources when two individuals want the same
Time pressure when people believe that there are not enough hours to
do the work
Communication failures when people misperceive and misunderstand
o Intergroup Conflicts clashes between work groups, teams and
Inconsistent goals/reward systems when people pursue different
Ambiguous jurisdictions when job boundaries are unclear
Status differences when there are inconsistencies in power and influence
o Multicultural conflicts clashes between cultures
How to stimulate constructive conflict?
o If carefully monitored, conflicts can be productive and can stimulate performance
o 4 devices used to stimulate constructive conflict
Spur competition among employees
Change the organizations cultures and procedures
Bring in outsiders for new perspectives
Use programmed conflict
Programmed conflict elicit different opinions without
inciting peoples personal feelings

Devils Advocacy process of assigning someone to play the

role of critic
Dialectic method process of having two people or groups
play opposing roles in a debate in order to better
understand a proposal