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Understanding Work Teams
Dr. Pavitra Mishra
Why Have Teams Become So Popular
 Teams typically outperform individuals.
 Teams use employee talents better.
 Teams are more flexible and responsive to
changes in the environment.
 Teams facilitate employee involvement.
 Teams are an effective way to democratize and
organization and increase motivation.
Team Versus Group: What’s the Difference
Work Group
A group that interacts primarily to share information
and to make decisions to help each group member
perform within his or her area of responsibility.
Work Team
A group whose individual efforts result in a
performance that is greater than the sum of the
individual inputs.
Beware: Teams Aren’t Always the Answer
 Three tests to see if a team fits the situation:
– Is the work complex and is there a need for different
– Does the work create a common purpose or set of
goals for the group that is larger than the aggregate of
the goals for individuals?
– Are members of the group involved in interdependent
Types of Teams
Problem-Solving Teams
Groups of 5 to 12 employees from the same
department who meet for a few hours each week to
discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the
work environment.
Self-Managed Work Teams
Groups of 10 to 15 people who take on the
responsibilities of their former supervisors.
Types of Teams (cont’d)
Cross-Functional Teams
Employees from about the same hierarchical level,
but from different work areas, who come together to
accomplish a task.
• Task forces
• Committees
Types of Teams (cont’d)
Virtual Teams
Teams that use computer technology to tie together
physically dispersed members in order to achieve a
common goal.
Team Characteristics
1. The absence of paraverbal and nonverbal cues
2. A limited social context
3. The ability to overcome time and space constraints
Multi-team System
 A collection of two or more interdependent teams
that share a subordinate goal; a team of teams
Team Development Stages: Tuckman & Jensen
 Role: A set of expected behavior patterns
attributed to someone occupying a given position
in a social unit
 Role expectation: How others believe person
should act in a given situation
 Role perception: An individual’s view how s/he
may act in a given situation
 Role conflict: A situation in which an individual is
confronted by divergent role expectations
Team Roles
 Linker: Coordinates and integrates
 Creator: Initiate creative ideas
 Promoter: Champions ideas after they are
 Assessor: Offers insightful analysis of options
 Organizer: Provides Structure
 Producer: Provides direction and follow-through
 Controller: Examine details and enforces rules
 Maintainer: Fights external battles
 Adviser: Encourages the search for more
Belbin’s 9 Team Roles
Belbin’s 9 Team Roles
 Thinking-Oriented Roles
– Plant: Innovator and Ideas
– Monitor Evaluator: Separate good ideas from bad
– Specialist: skills in specialist job
 Action Oriented Roles
– Shaper: Challenge norms, push team, takes lead
– Implementor: Executor of plans
– Completer/Finisher: Complete the fine details
 People-Oriented Roles
– Coordinator: Natural team leader
– Team Worker: Ensures team is working well together.
Weakness: Diplomats
– Resource Investigator: Finds external resources
Team Effectiveness Model
 Context
Adequate Resources
Effective Leadership
Performance and Reward System
 Composition
Abilities of Members
Allocating Roles
Cultural differences
Size of team
Member preferences
 Process
Common purpose
Specific Goals
Team Efficacy
Team Identity
Team Cohesion
Conflict levels
Mental Models
Social Loafing
Team Effectiveness Model
Key Terms
 Social Loafing: The tendency for individuals to
expend less effort when working collectively than
when working individually
 Group cohesiveness: The degree to which group
members are attracted to each other and are
motivated to stay together
 Group think: A phenomenon in which the norm
for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of
alternative course of action
 Group shift: A change between group’s decision
and individual’s decision that a member within
the group would make; the shift can be either
towards conservatism or risky shift.
Team Charter
 Context: Why team exists
 Mission and Objective: Short clean statement of
what team needs to achieve and deliver
 Composition: Design of the team
 Authority and empowerment: Matters in which
team needs to take permission and vice-versa,
team boundaries to avoid any conflict with other
 Resources and support available: Money, time,
people, training, equipment, coaching etc.
 Operations: Basic line of functioning, acceptable
behaviors, common rules, ethics
 Stakeholders: External and Internal
Turning Individuals Into Team Players
 The Challenges
– Overcoming individual resistance to team membership.
– Countering the influence of individualistic cultures.
– Introducing teams in an organization that has
historically valued individual achievement.
 Shaping Team Players
– Selecting employees who can fulfill their team roles.
– Training employees to become team players.
– Reworking the reward system to encourage
cooperative efforts while continuing to recognize
individual contributions.
Teams and Quality Management
 Team Effectiveness and Quality Management
Requires That Teams:
1. Are small enough to be efficient and effective.
2. Are properly trained in required skills.
3. Allocated enough time to work on problems.
4. Are given authority to resolve problems and take
corrective action.
5. Have a designated “champion” to call on when
John Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention
Google: Team Effectiveness Video
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHIikHJV9fI