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Groups and Teams in Workplace

Essay by   •  April 17, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,382 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,588 Views

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The use of group and teams in the workplace is a recent trend tied to increased importance on high performance work groups to modern organizations. A team or group is a gathering of two or more people working together towards the achievement of a common goal (Dixon & Hart, 2010). According to (Welbourne, Johnson, & Erez, 1998) people work together to reach a common goal, it can evolve into high performing, extremely effective, useful tools in any organization if developed and managed correctly. Teamwork requires good interpersonal and negotiation skills. As our workforce becomes more diverse, we must be able to communicate to people who are different from them in language, culture, lifestyle (Hensey, 1992). Good interpersonal skills, the ability to diffuse conflicts, and appreciation for diversity will be necessary to function effectively in the workplace (Elspeth & Andrew, 2000).

According to (Ancona et al., 2005), team effectiveness should be categorized into four dimensions. Firstly, performance effectiveness of the group assessed in terms of quality and quantity of outputs. Performance effectiveness includes efficiency, productivity, response times, and quality. Secondly, member satisfaction in the group. Member satisfaction includes member satisfaction, commitment, and trust. Scooby-gang has an informal structure lead by Fred who is to manage and organise meeting on every Friday of the week. A timeline is created to ensure the scooby-gang is clear of the goals and a weekly agenda is formed as a target to assists the progress of the task. During each meeting, scooby-gang ensures that everyone contributes and feel involved in the progress of the workshop. We can notice that there is a certain level of trust involved in decision making and member satisfaction from the outcome of the meeting. Thirdly, team learning of the group. Team learning includes acquiring of new skills, behaviour and perspective. Idea creation and or other forms of contributions will be discussed among the scooby-gang to obtain an effective and efficient outcome. This process of contributions will then generate trust among scooby-gang which enables communication to be in an openly and often manner (Ralph & Chitra, 2004). Fred will then lead the scooby-gang with respect to narrow down the quantity of contributions by converting them into quality contributions which increase productivity. The contributions of ideas shared from different perspective increases the level of knowledge within scooby-gang therefore encourages constructive learning. Fourthly, outsider satisfaction of the group. Outsider satisfaction in this case is feedback from audience such as tutors and in-class audience. All the dimensions will increase conflict as it involves verbal communication of ideas and contributions from the team members. When problems arise, the situation is carefully diagnosed before action is proposed by scooby-gang. Scooby-gang also trust one another therefore members can freely express negative reactions without fearing reprisal. Therefore supportive communication and feedback is crucial at this process in order to produce less conflict and the same time increase productivity and member satisfaction. At the end of every meeting, Fred will update all members by email on the detail of the discussion and the expectation for next meeting. Overall scooby-gang is considered a flexible and effective group as it fulfil majority of the criteria mention in the three dimensions and is one that achieves high levels of task performance and group cohesiveness.

The stages model of group development and the punctuated equilibrium model present very different clarification for how a group develops. One of the main theories of group dynamics is the sequential stage theory which consists of a model proposed that groups move through five stages of group development (forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning) (Bruce, 2001; Bruce & Mary Ann, 1977). Another model is the punctuated equilibrium model which describes how groups are form, determination of method, agreement on the task goals to produce outcome rapidly (Gersick, 1988). (Chang, Bordia, & Duck, 2003) states that the punctuated equilibrium model focuses on how a group works on a specific task, whereas the stage models focus on the overall development of the group.

In the forming stage, scooby-gang was a group of

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