A group is defned as two or more interacting and interdependent individuals who come together to achieve specifc goals. Formal groups are work groups dened by the organization’s structure and have designated work assignments and specic tasks directed at accomplishing organizational goals.
Groups and the stages of group development.
A group is two or more interacting and interdependent individuals who come together to achieve specific goals. Formal groups are work groups defined by the organization’s structure and have designated work assignments and specifc tasks directed at accomplishing organizational goals. Informal groups are social groups. The forming stage consists of two phases: joining the group and defining the group’s purpose, structure, and leadership. The storming stage is one of intragroup conflict over who will control the group and what the group will be doing. The norming stage is when close relationships and cohesiveness develop as norms are determined. The performing stage is when group members begin to work on the group’s task. The adjourning stage is when the group prepares to disband.
The major components that determine group performance and satisfaction.
The major components that determine group performance and satisfaction include external conditions, group member resources, group structure, group processes, and group tasks. External conditions, such as availability of resources, organizational goals, and other factors, afect work groups. Group member resources (knowledge, skills, abilities, personality traits) can influence what members can do and how effectively they will perform in a group. Group roles generally involve getting the work done or keeping group members happy. Group norms are powerful influences on a person’s performance and dictate things such as work output levels, absenteeism, and promptness.
Pressures to conform can heavily influence a person’s judgment and attitudes. If carried to extremes, groupthink can be a problem. Status systems can be a significant motivator with individual behavioral consequences, especially if incongruence is a factor. What size group is most effective and eficient depends on the task the group is supposed to accomplish. Cohesiveness is related to a group’s productivity. Group decision making and conflict management are important group processes that play a role in performance and satisfaction. If accuracy, creativity, and degree of acceptance are important, a group decision may work best. Relationship conflicts are almost always dysfunctional. Low levels of process conflicts and low-to-moderate levels of task conflicts are functional. Efective communication and controlled conflict are most relevant to group performance when tasks are complex and interdependent.
Teams and best practices influencing team performance
Characteristics of work groups include a strong, clearly focused leader; individual accountability; purpose that’s the same as the broader organizational mission; individual work product; eficient meetings; efectiveness measured by infuence on others; and the ability to discuss, decide, and delegate together. Characteristics of teams include shared leadership roles; individual and mutual accountability; specific team purpose; collective work products; meetings with open-ended discussion and active problem solving; performance measured directly on collective work products; and the ability to discuss, decide, and do real work.
A problem-solving team is one that’s focused on improving work activities or solving specifc problems. A self-managed work team is responsible for a complete work process or segment and manages itself. A cross-functional team is composed of individuals from various specialties. A virtual team uses technology to link physically dispersed members in order to achieve a common goal. The characteristics of an effective team include clear goals, relevant skills, mutual trust, united commitment, good communication, negotiating skills, appropriate leadership, and internal and external support.
contemporary issues in managing teams.
The challenges of managing global teams can be seen in the group member resources, especially the diverse cultural characteristics; group structure, especially conformity, status, social loading, and cohesiveness; group processes, especially with communication and managing conflict; and the manager’s role in making it all work. With the emphasis on teams in today’s organizations, managers need to recognize that people don’t automatically know how to be part of a team or to be an effective team member. Like any behavior, team members have to learn about the skill and then keep practicing and reinforcing it. In building team skills, managers must view their role as more of being a coach and developing others to create more committed, collaborative, and inclusive teams. Managers need to understand the patterns of informal connections among individuals within groups because those informal social relationships can help or hinder the group’s efectiveness.