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Case Study - the Forgotten Team Member

Essay by   •  November 21, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,494 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,441 Views

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Group Development

The group is currently operating in the storming stage of team development. From the case study there is evidence that the group has gone through the forming stage by Christine's reflection of the team members. The storming stage consists of the team going through a period of tension amongst the group members as they determine their roles and within the team. Christine makes reference to her doubt in Mike's commitment to the team and the project as a whole. She also notes his lack of participation and excuses for not meeting his tasks. There are two references to a social dynamic that exists with four of the five team members. This is highlighted in the study when Mike confronts the other team member in a social setting accusing them of having a team meeting without his involvement. Diane is also noted as being considered an under performer and only contributing when required. Christine may be considered under performing as the team coordinator of the group. Her lack of recognition of team issues and tension has placed the group in jeopardy of delivering a good solution. In addition, Steve has taken on leader duties by formalizing the meetings with agendas, outcomes instead of Christine.

Due to Christine's lack of experience in a team environment and being a team coordinator, she does not have the appropriate skills to effectively manage the team. Christine appears to be detailed and task oriented, but does not understand the dynamics of teams or team development. As a result the team is not meeting their goals as easily as it could. There are issues with member satisfaction within the team. Diane is perceived as withdrawn and only participates when requested. Mike participates, but is not active with the team as it relates to meetings or social settings. Christine also appears to be driven by her individual concerns about her grades. If Christine had a better understanding that teams actually can create better ideas and outcomes she would realize her grade would be better if the team was performing well.

Problem Identification

Our OB textbook states; "The fact is that there is a lot more to teamwork than simply assigning members to the same group, calling it a "team", appointing someone as a "team leader", and then expecting them all to do a great job." (Schermerhor, Jr., Hunt, Osborn, & Uhl-Bien, 2010). This statement is exemplified by this case study. The problem the team is facing is lack of cohesion in the roles and outcomes. The primary problem is, Christine was elected the team coordinator, but is not acting in that role. Of the five members on the team, Christine feels she is an organized and meticulous individual. Steve appears to be outcome driven, and is reflected by Christine as businesslike and agenda driven with measured results. Diane is introverted and will provide input only upon request. Janet is outgoing and appears to go beyond what the team expects of her. Mike appears to be a social slacker and is not participative with the team. These summaries outline the group has gone through the forming stage, where they begin to know each other, and into the storming stage of development.

Although Christine is detail oriented and meticulous, she does not actively manage the team from a coordination and outcome perspective. She appears to be more concerned about grades than the success of the team. Steve has emerged as the primary person leading the team. He is requiring the team to review status and identify what is accomplished and what is still unresolved. Christine appears to only facilitate the meetings, not work to get the team focused. Her acceptance of Mike's lack of participation is costing the team to meet their goals. She should have dealt with Mike's issues at the onset and given him guidance on participation. If Mike continued to not participate, she should have escalated to Sandra.

The second problem facing the team is Mike's involvement. Although he has good ideas, Mike is not contributing to the team overall goal. His appearance of social loafing has been accepted by Christine and even adopted as his contribution method. Mike obviously feels isolated from the team from his reaction to the group being together in a social setting. Finally, Christine allows Mike to continually make excuses without ramifications. This can have a negative impact on the other team members as they will probably feel that Mike will benefit from their hard work.

If Christine had a better understanding of team

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