The concept of groups, teams and teamwork is a very important factor for good performance of the whole company. I read the case about the group of professionals who had to control and serve the new joint venture between companies from Japan, United States, and South America. This new company had to make, sell, and service pet caskets for the burial of beloved pets, mostly dogs and cats. During the first month of work, each company had assigned personnel to the task force. The members from every company were chosen to participate in the joint venture. As chair of the task force, Jose initiated a meeting of all the members of the new company. He gave historical information, and then he reviewed the market for the innovations of their prospective product. The task force was to develop the initial design parameters for the new product to meet increasing demand around the world. Next part of the meeting was opened to comments and suggestions.
Mariana Preus, representative from Argentina, the head of product design, said that the current designs that they had in production in Argentina plant were just fine, and he didn’t see any reasons to innovate the design of their product. All other members of the meeting agreed not to make any changes in the design of the product. Jose reminded to all of the participants of the meeting that their task force’s purpose is to redesign the product and its manufacturing systems. Finally, Jose had to agree with members of the meeting and to write a memo to the council of presidents with the recommendation to use existing designs and to begin immediately to design the plant and the manufacturing system. The meeting adjourned,d and Jose returned to his computer and started to write the memo that, he knew, would anger the presidents. He wondered what had he done wrong and what he could have done to prevent such result of the meeting.
I think that in this case study we see an example of the formal group that is formed by a manager to help the organization to accomplish its goals. The group development process wasn’t finished and ended on the second stage–storming. Analyzing the group member roles, in our situation Jose is the initiator of the meeting, information giver, opinion seeker, and orienter. Mariana Preus has a role of initiator and information giver, because he insisted on the not redesigning of the product. The other members seem to serve just as a passive audience–followers, because they all agreed to the Mariana’s suggestion, and didn’t give any other opinions. Also, there was no group cohesiveness; a “we feeling” binding group members together to accomplish their goal.
The diverse nature of the group affected the committee’s action by not understanding and participating of all members in the meeting. If I was in Jose’s position, I would try to keep the group headed toward the stated goal better, and not to agree with the suggestion of one member, but to count the opinions of every member of the group. Also, it wasn’t right to adjourn the meeting before getting the result that would approach to the goal of the whole meeting.