In this case, unless the director of the Polymers Department, Paul Burke, in the Corporate Technology Development division of Crutchfield Chemical Engineering is able to resolve large difference among teams in the Lumen and Absorb Teams, the Crutchfield Chemical Engineering may continue to affect its creativity, employee motivation and working environment.
As one of three departments in Crutchfield Chemical Engineering, Burke’s Polymers Department had five project teams in that time. Based on an employee survey, in the five project teams, only one-the Lumen team had a high level of motivation in their work; the Absorb team had a quite low level of motivation in their work; the other three were intermediate.
Burke tried to use dairy report about these two groups to understand the group behaviors and their project progress. In this case, as a task group, all the individuals can work together to complete a job task in the Lumen team. According to the dairy reports from the Lumen team, in their first day, the leader of Lumen team, Max held a team meeting to talk about the his first swipe at the patent application.
The other team members share their thoughts and ideas to provide necessary detail which can help Max to improve his draft. Max can generate more information or knowledge to increase diversity of his view on the project through meeting and discussion.
As a leader, Max could set the team plan, and gave opportunities to all the members to discuss and fulfill their abilities.
He also can let his team members to follow conformity without expressing his own opinions. One of the team members, Allen mentioned, the good teamwork and open communication among the entire work team contributed to a great result. As far as I am concerned, the Lumen team did it. When the first customer complaint came into Max, Max and the other members tried to fix their project and make it better which can achieve customer’s expectation. The whole team was able to face the problem and challenging by their cooperation. Despite many pressure and challenge, the Lumen team made considerable progress to produce a better project for their customer. The team member, Allen described, how the Lumen team worked together to identify the main problems with their sample material.
It showed the Lumen members focused on interacting with their leader and the other members to fulfill group thinking to solve problems. Different members in the Lumen team were flexible to play their roles in their work conditions, they also can shift their roles rapidly when they recognize that a situation and its demand require changes. When Pierre had personal responsibilities for his new daughter, the other members can help Pierre to do more for his work. They can attract and cooperate with each other to stay in the group to show their cohesiveness. It could help team to enhance and maintain their employee motivation, as well as promote working environment. In contrast, the Absorb team has a very different situation from the Lumen team. For the Absorb team diaries, in their first two days, most team members mentioned frustrations they were experiencing with their team leader instead of day’s work or group cooperation.
They did not focus they were working in a group. They ignore to think themselves as part of a group. It can not stimulate cohesiveness in the whole team, which means people would hardly spend a great deal of time together or be motivated to stay in the group. Due to Helen said in the diaries, Hector told her that he was discouraged because Chip, who said that the samples were “far from perfect”, seemed to think trial was a bomb. As a leader in Absorb team, Chip should encourage the other team members to improve their ideas and enhance their confidences to pursue more challenge works. He did not use his status to be a significant motivator to understand members’ behavior and thoughts, in order to promote their active participation. It would influence employee motivation seriously in the whole group. From the diaries about Absorb team, I know that Chip insisted on pursuing Composites’ business.
However, Ying and Jim told there is no market opportunity for their team with Composites, Chip thought the other team members need to keep working because of political reasons. As a leader for Absorb team, Chip did not focus on group decision making, he did not provide fair opportunities for team members to come up with their thoughts and attitudes to set the goal. Without groupthink, interaction between members and the leader would be less to affect the whole working environment and working efficiency. In Jim’s idea, he thought that Chip acted like he was on the outside looking in and not part of the team. Lack of group decision, without more knowledge and information, the creativity of the group would be affected.
Also, based on the diaries, Hector mentioned, Chip told he, he should be taking on the work of a team member who would be leaving; however, Helen mentioned, Hector told her that Chip said one of technical specialists was being removed from the team. As the technical supervisor, she expected to know this information before Hector. In the group working, all team members have the fair opportunities to know the change in the team. However, the leader Chip ignored the importance of group behavior. Less team members would follow conformity on their leaders. Chip would lose desire for acceptances from the team, because of his behaviors in the team working.
For Lumen team and Absorb team, both of them were the main elements in the Polymers Department in CCE. Although they had very different aims and projects, they are related to each other closely in the same department to influence the whole company. Because of large difference among team, different people who work in different teams would have different employee motivations. Different motivations from employees would bring negative effects on creativity in the CCE. Their large advantages and disadvantages between two teams would bring a serious conflict to influence the whole company. The working environment would be affected by the conflict to continue the bad cycle of development.
Plan of Action (POA):
As a director in the Polymers Department in CCE, at first, Burke should communicate with Absorb team, try to help Chip to play a leader role, promote their group working and work project. Burke also should encourage Lumen team to maintain their motivation and creativity, as well as to do more challenging projects or works in the group working condition. Second, Burke should encourage these two team leaders exchange their teams for a short time. Chip who was the leader in the Absorb team exchange to work in Lumen team, and Max who was the leader in the Lumen team exchange to work in the Absorb team. The two leaders would change their working environment and their working team members for a short time to adapt new situation. It can help two leaders to find out what advantages or disadvantages they have, what they should enhance, what they should maintain. It also can help team members to change working behaviors and attitudes, especially for Absorb team. The team members in Absorb team can enhance their motivation and creativity.
It this POA can work, Paul Burke can resolve the large difference among teams in the Polymers Department in CCE. On the beneficial part, the Crutchfield Chemical Engineering can continue to develop its creativity, employee motivation and working environment in the marketplace. The high-level motivation team can maintain their employee motivation, project creativity and harmony work environment. The low-level motivation team and the average teams can learn advantages from high-level team, and try to enhance their employee motivation and project creativity. The leader Chip can change his behavior and attitude to work with his team members, try to develop their ideas and thoughts to produce better projects. On the lost part, due to exchanging teams, two leaders Max and Chip had to use time and energies to adapt to new environment, new project and new working members.