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Organizational Behavior and Management Essay

In viewing the Manager’s Hot Seat: Working in Teams: Cross-Functional, I was able to distinguish the difference between the words team and teamwork. Team refers to a small group of people with complementary skills, who work together to achieve a shared purpose and hold themselves mutually accountable for performance results ( Schermerhorm,2011). In this video, yes there was team that consisted of Rosa Denson, Cheng Jing, Simon Mahoney and Joe Tanney who plays the role of team leader for an assigned high priority project.

Working in teams is essential in this age of rapidly changing technology, market-driven decision making, customer sophistication, and employee restlessness, as leaders and managers are faced with new challenges . Organizations must build new structures and master new skills in order to compete and survive. And in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness, a group effort is required as it reads in the article MindTools.

In the video, the members work in the same organization but at different departmental levels with different knowledge and skills. How these people interact and relate to one another is a key factor in determining how successful the team will be at achieving its mission The group is made up of cross functional team members where there is input from people with a mixture of gender, race, age and ethnicity. It can be difficult managing a group like this because there are individual differences amongst each member.

People vary among the layers of diversity: 1) personality, which is unique to every individual, 2) internal dimensions which is race and age, 3) external dimensions which includes religion and marital status and 4) organizational dimensions such as job title(McGraw Hill, 2007) These factors are likely to influence interpersonal relationships and the ability to work with others. Working together is part of many organizations that believe that by practicing teamwork skills can help produce better products and provide better services, faster and at a lower cost.

However, there was no evidence of teamwork in this video. There was no defined process of people working together to accomplish a common goal, which is the definition of teamwork. Instead there was a group of knowledgeable people, who did not want responsibility and had no initiative for such project. In fact, Tuckman’s group development model should have been added to the agenda as a refresher course for all members. Schermerhorn defines Tuckman’s development model in stages.

Stage 1 of the model is forming, and this was evident in the beginning of the meeting with the initial formation of the group discussing where tasks are understood by members and resources and information that delegated by the leader, in this case Joe. But it wasn’t long into the meeting where storming was evident. Individuals began to question and challenge the given task. Members disagree on the goal of the team and resist the given task. At this point personal to emotional excuses began to surface. I do not think I witnessed the rest of the stages, except the adjourning part.

There was no norming stage where the team moves toward harmonious working practices where there is agreement. In fact, Joe the acting leader had to assign different tasks according to his perception of each one. And there was no performing stage displaying functional, interdependent roles that were focused on the performance of the group tasks among the members. In fact, group cohesiveness was not evident, with everyone having an agenda of their own, the interaction and motivation between them was very low. The cohesiveness that should have bonded the small group together and come up with solutions for the problem was not evident.

The book states that in order for effective teams to thrive these factors need to be established and be in place: achieve and maintain high levels of task performance achieve and maintain high levels of member satisfaction and retain viability for the future (Schermerhorn, 2011) . With this said, the benefits of effective work teams within an organization are very considerable, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of management and team members to develop, implement and maintain effective work teams.

I believe that the team in the video is not team, but rather a group of people discussing an organizations’ project based on the fact that there was no commitment to the task at hand. Every member in an organization has a task to do. These roles are the expected behaviors for a given position in an organization. Sometimes roles can disrupt group progress and weaken its cohesion. For example, Rosa demonstrated role conflict when she involved her personal life with her job. She was a self-confessor, disclosing personal feelings and issues.

Simon was the opinion giver, expressing his own personal opinions as to why such project has not worked before without offering solutions. Simon can also be labeled a blocker. Joe was the initiator or contributor to the team. He would propose new ideas of getting the project completed by finding solutions to the problems the rest of the team members would come up with. The creation of teams has become a key strategy in many organizations. Team building is an essential element in supporting and improving the effectiveness of small groups and task forces and must be a key part of a total program of organizational change.


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