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Hyung Kyu An

Internal Competition A Curse for Team Performance


This case study will describe the problems of FIS project teams organizational behavior
and how it deterred the outcome of the consulting project. The team was assigned a task to
develop an ERP training materials for a client. The team composed of project manager, team
leader, senior developers, junior developers and regular members. Each members were qualified
in terms of communication skills, writing, and documentation capabilities. They also went into
further entailed interview of their skill sets and experiences in order to be selected. Two junior
members, Sara and Shri were sent to New Jersey and reported to Pete Philly, the project
manager. Pete showed lack of commitment by performing below expectations, responding to
email late and not accepting calls. After two months, few more members joined in, increasing the
team member count 15. Within the team, small groups formed and favored opinions of the group
they associated with. A team leader, Sai Rishi, close to his promotion, tried to please Pete in
order to reach his promotion. Despite the experiences and the skills they had, the project became
a sham and it showed how organizational behavior used inefficiently can affect a team. This case
study will identify the teams characteristics, diversity, project teams processes and the
consequences from the analysis.
FIS Project Teams Characteristics and Diversity
The crucial members of the team, Nirmal Sara, Shri Shalini, Pete Philly, and Sai Rishi are
present in the project. The team goes through 5 stages of team development, forming, storming,
norming, performing, and adjourning. Forming occurs when Sara, Shalini and Pete meet and the
rest of the members joining in few months. Next, storming takes place but there is a problem
with this stage. Factions within the team form causing people to move among themselves and

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were reluctant to involve other members. They were integrating similarity-attraction approach to
form the groups. In meetings, small factions provided suggestion without consulting with the rest
or briefing the rest of the team prior to meeting. Meetings often resulted in debates and
promoting their own agenda. Having a distinct groups within the project got to a point where
members refused to share information with each other. The norming deals with people
socializing with each other to resolve differences and performing leads to the achievement of the
teams goal. Both were non-existent because of the problems created by favoring the group or
people they associate over one another. Adjourning is a stage where teams perform and do
activities like celebrating the accomplishment. However, before finishing the project, the team
leader, Rishi was replaced and Pete Philly was given a reprimand.
Team interdependence refers to amount which team members interact with and rely on
others. In the project, each component of the tasks were performed by different team members; it
required alignment and integration to complete the final module. Members refused to share
information about the project, and leaders constantly changed deadline dates. The sole purpose
of Rishis goal in the project was driven by his promotion. His goals and visions were different
from other members and it swayed him from the purpose of the project. Lack of team
interdependence throughout the project led to process loss. Process loss refers to the inadequate
execution of actions that leads to negative performance.
The roles of the each project members identify the goodness and problems of the project
outcome. Sara plays the procedural-technician who performs routine tasks needed to keep
progress moving. She plays an important role to keep the project moving from start to finish.
Rishi plays the aggressor and dominator role which means that he deflates teammates and

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manipulates team members for person control. He takes pleasure in making junior members feel
inferior of their knowledge and skills. He also manipulates Petes behavior from being polite to
Sara into snubbing and mocking her suggestions. Pete is meant to be playing the coordinator and
orienter role where he coordinate activities and directions of team discussions. The troubling
personality and the presence of process loss affect the projects outcome.
Teams Processes
The causes of process loss in the team processes is defined by the different activities and
interactions that occur within the team. In this case, process loss occurred because of
coordination loss and motivational loss. Coordination loss is the inability for the leader to direct
the team towards the goal. Pete failed to respond to emails in time and broke promises to make a
call to client. The project team had to work late hours and struggled to meet deadlines due to his
coordination loss. Motivation loss is losing the means and enthusiasm to reach the goal. This
phenomenon starts to occur when Shalini senses that Pete is being lax about the project. His
lackadaisical approach affected the team and the trust in his ability to be a leader.
The lack of decision informity in the group created knowledge gap between each
members and group. Decision informity is the reflection of how much each member possess
information about their responsibility within the task. A team member, Lia Aarthi, explains that
team members did not realize that the project required the team to work cohesive as a whole. It
took her several days until she could find the information about her course work within the
project team. The gap of information within team members created by lack of decision informity
made it difficult to reach the goal of the project.

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Network structure of the project can be defined as a wheel. Important information is


directly communicated to the leader, Pete. The importance of this leader plays a huge role in this
type of network structure. The lack of effective communication throughout the project hindered
the project. Sara heard Rishi talk behind her back about her being not competent or talented.
Rishi has not shown any distress with her work and Sara was annoyed that he choose to talk
behind her back rather than discussing the issue with her. Majority of the team members did not
show any cohesion which led to having no teamwork. Cohesion exists when teams develop
emotional bonds to members and the team itself. The distrust from Rishi towards Sara shows that
he had no feeling of potency towards her. Potency refers to the belief that team can be effective
across a variety of task. The lack of trust and effective communication correlated with the teams
performance and process loss.
Consequences
The poor performance of the project led to discouraging employee motivation, stress, and
job satisfaction. Majority of the members were under heavy workload and discouraging work
atmosphere. The consequences of these led to members showing withdrawal behavior, which is a
set of actions that employees do to avoid work situation. Showing withdrawal behavior can
correlate to the decreasing organizational commitment which describes the desire for employee
to remain a member of an organization. Pete showed withdrawal behavior by refusing to take
calls from clients.
Sara and Shalini experienced stress and decline in job satisfaction throughout the project.
Stress, a pressure or tension which negatively affects a person. This is present when Rishi shows
the client the first draft made by Sara which is needed to go through further draft process. He

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knew that it needed correction and more time but he neglected to listen to her. This action put her
career at stake and the companys reputation. In result, it created discouraging job satisfaction for
Sara because it did not correctly reflect her effort she put in. Job satisfaction refers to how
content an individual is feeling towards their job.
Recommendation
Team members need to facilitate good citizenship behavior which is a voluntary activities
that may or may contribute to improving quality of work. The company needs to train employees
to enact such behavior and effective communication. An effective communication can be started
with ambassador activities, a communication that is intended to protect and persuade others to
support the team. It is also important for the team to set a goal specification, development and
prioritization of goals in relation to the accomplishment.