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Why Teams Reach Goals Better Than Individuals

Table of Content 1. Introduction 2. Team and Types of Teams 3. Advantages of Teams in organisation 4. Team Effectiveness 4. 1 Organisational & Team Environments 4. 2 Team Design Elements 4. 3 Team Processes 5. Self Directed and Virtual Teams 6 Disadvantages of Team work used in organisation 7 Conclusion 1 Introduction The initial part of this report consist the definition of a Team and the different kinds of teams found in organisations.

Next the advantage of a team’s followed by the several models and theories on how to accomplish team effectiveness would be discussed. Finally the conclusion will be on the drawbacks of the team work based tasks in organisations, and the mechanisms to improve and minimize the disadvantages. Thus all these theories and issues will be supported by practical examples to affirm that people working in teams always achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively than people working alone. Team and Types of Teams Team means when two or more people are formed to achieve or accomplish a specific goal by coordinating and working interdependently with each other. In the world of sports for example if its hockey, football or basketball shooting the ball to the goal, but in organisations the goal becomes a target such as meeting the customer needs or accomplishing software project. However in an organisation teams are created for long and short interactions. M Heathfield 2008 para. 1. However the American founder of Ford Motor Company also believe that “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” (” http://thinkexist. com/quotes/henry_ford/ ) which manifests the concept of team work in organisations has been utilised from a long ago. Presently number of local and international organisations such as Erogan Energy Queensland, Royal Dutch Shell, Coca-Cola Amatil uses the team work concept. Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travalione 2010,p. 299,310& 315) However depending on the tasks, function, type, practices, knowledge and organisational rationales there are various kinds of teams in organisations. Employees who contains similar skills and has parallel task who are located in the same office are identified as Departmental Teams, for example in an apparel manufacturing environment the production and the quality checking sections are located together as the two functions are interdependent.

Advisory Teams are formed to make recommendations for an organisations resolutions these teams can be formed temporary or permanently for example if an company needs to implement ISO standard initially there would have to be an advisory team which is normally formed by managers of each departments , overall ISO officer and an ISO consultant externally. This team’s task would be to establish the company practices to obtain the ISO standard within a period of time. Once the organisation obtains the Certification the main task of this team ceases.

Further Leadership Teams, Task Force Teams, Skunkworks, Self Directed Teams and Virtual Teams are some more examples. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010,p. 301) 3 Advantages of Teams in organisation According to the recent research shows that most of the companies are emphasising on team work based environments in organisations. Further Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione states that out 1760 professional almost 86 percent agreed that working in a team is more successful for a business. (2010,p. 303) It is stated that in most organisation working in teams provide enhanced accuracy, quality output and services.

When employees are working together as a team they are more motivated than working alone. This is because they are more closely monitored by their own team members than their supervisor therefore all members put their maximum effort to do the task. For example in apparel manufacturing environment the machine operators which belonging to one single line are designed to work as a team. Each machine operator stiches only part of an apparel and it is passed to the other operators to stitch the other parts.

In this process if one operator stiches part of the apparel in an improper manner and passed on it would be not be continued by other operators, because at the end of the day number of damages in all lines are monitored. Thus no one wants to let their team down so the operators perform their duties with care. This additionally compares each team members performance and each line performance. When employees work in team they build bonds and this becomes very strong if the team is part of employee’s social identity. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010,p. 03) Further these teams try to do better than the other teams . Refer to the apparel manufacturing environment these production lines are given different name such as Line A, B,C, D and E. Each line works as a team to be the best production line delivering quantity and quality apparels. In working in teams the work is distributed equally and each member does not get overloaded with work, further when it is a team effort everyone tends to facilitate each other as opposed to working alone, as individual’s working independently tends to becomes self-centred.

Further when many people are working together time consumption taken to complete the task are less plus team members within the company becomes knowledgeable as the knowledge is spread around by each member communicating their views. According to research when working in a team individual’s tends to learn concepts faster. This is because of the experience and the knowledge of the older team members facilitates the new members to gather the important elements of the duties faster, which may result it minimising the errors that new members are most probable to make. Team Effectiveness However it is important that team work based organisations concentrate on making teams which are effective and not teams which fail to achieve the given objective or goal. Is stated a team is effective when it benefits the organisation, its members and its own survival. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010,p. 305) This denotes that the members of the team must give their fullest commitment to establish the target given to them by the organisation which inevitably would bring success and benefits to the team members.

Having a committed team is an important element in maintaining team effectiveness specially where there is some kind of turmoil when reaching the goals. Over the years there are number of models developed by researches to discover the factors to make team work more effective than others. Figure 4. 1 and Figure 4. 2 manifest recently developed models. Figure 4. 1 Source: Team Effectiveness Model Figure 4. 2 Source: Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 305 The model which manifest from figure 4. is based on number of theories and it would be discussed further. 4. 1 Organisational & Team Environments This means all factors which effect outside the teams borders. It is observed that if all team members are rewarded for their achievement they are more motivated work together. For example referring to the apparel manufacturing environment all machine operators who were in the best production line is rewarded by a monthly bonus. Communication is also a very important to enhance team effectiveness.

This is important to organisations are dealing with information technology. When the teams are organised in a structure near work is processing it increases a bond between team members as it develops interdependency among each team members and it minimise the contacts outside the teams. Further when team members are working on a goal it is necessary that there is an organisational leader who guides the team. In the apparel manufacturing environment the Line Supervisor or failing the Line leader role is the individual who guides each line.

The team members have to feel that they are part of a team and therefore it is important that the physical arrangement in an organisation is created in a manner that all team members are together. For example in the apparel manufacturing environment the all production lines and the quality departments are in the same physical layout as there are considered the production team, which ultimately gives products with good quality and more quantity. This method is also practice by the Toyota Motor Company as well. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010,p. 06) 4. 2 Team Design Elements When team designers are designing a team they need to focus on certain key elements such as task characteristics, team size team composition and team roles. In task characteristic it is important that team members perform their task by sharing certain elements in the organisation. This could be sharing information, knowledge, finances, raw materials and expertises. This is known as task interdependence. There are three type of task interdependence. The lowest form interdependence is pooled interdependence .

In this instances employees are considered a team because they share and utilises the same machinery, material or in certain instances all employees are under the same budget. In the apparel manufacturing environment in normal instances the Merchandising and Purchasing departments work individually but all these departments share the same budget and same administration. Next is sequential Interdependence this contains high in interdependence. In this form output of one entity becomes a direct input of another entity.

In the apparel manufacturing surroundings complete apparel (production) which is a finished output by a production line becomes a direct input in the quality departments as a team of quality control officers and auditors begins checking for damages. However the reciprocal interdependence in the highest stage of task interdependence. In this the output is exchanged back and forth among all units. This kind of interdependence is needed for organisations which creates and designs new goods and services. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010,p. 308)

Team size is also an important element in designing a team because in certain instances when the team gets bigger there are is a high chance of passengers rather than drivers. The team should be a balanced where the decisions could be taken speedily states the Jim Hassell, former managing director of Sun Microsystems in Australia and New Zealand. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 308). Even in the apparel manufacturing one production line is limited to dozen members. If an organisation needs teams which are successful the team members need to have the ability to work in a team.

It is observed that there are certain important key elements that team members to process to be in a team. This is called the five C’s. Cooperating, Coordinating, Communicating, Comforting and Conflict resolving. In a team its is essential that team members have these qualities. Example in apparel manufacturing if machine operators does not have these qualities they fail to give a good production. For example if one machine operator in stitching damages the other operators need to communicate to it to their team member. It is been observed that there are certain advantages to have team members from diverse backgrounds.

Members from different surroundings tend to see problems and solve it in different angles. Further the there would also be a wider technical competencies. The more representation is the better for any organisation. For example in apparel manufacturing the members of the Purchasing Departments most of the time deal with suppliers from all around the world especially from countries like China and Taiwan. In this instance having a team member from Chinese would become a real advantageous for the Purchasing team. 4. 3 Team Processes In Team process team development is considered as one important element.

Studies manifest that before a team start working towards one goal, time should be taken to develop these teams. There is popular model which was created by number of theories in developing a team. It has different stages named Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. These stages are interconnected. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 313). Team Norms are a set of informal rules to control team members’ behaviours, which is also important for the Team processes. Different gesture and cynical comments of team members if the work is not completed on time is example.

Team Cohesion is another element important to team processes. This mean there must be certain factors that team members are motivated to be in the team. When people are from the same surroundings this is manifested in the South Asian apparel manufacturing companies where many machine operators are from rural parts of each countries. When team size is smaller each member has their part to do and they feel they are appreciated when the goal is reached. It is also important that the teams meet regularly and the standards of each team is at higher level where there is a completion to get into the team. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 17-318) Team trust is also important in trying to promote team based work force in a company. There are three different types of trust found in team trust. Calculus-based trust, Knowledge –based trust and Identification Trust and these are all important for the team trust. However the above stated team effectiveness models was stated for understanding how team works in an organisation. But presently there are two types of teams that had become important among OB experts that are Self Directed Teams and Virtual Teams. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 320) 5 Self Directed and Virtual Teams

In Self Directed teams employees finish an entire piece of work with the least amount of management interference. These teams have more autonomy and time which is been spend to make product is very less. Is meets the clients demands effectively. This kind of teams are found in companies such as ALCOA Australia, Davo Light &Power Co in Philippines, Western Australia Income Revenue Department. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 320) In Virtual Teams members are in different parts of the world they are connected through information technology, number of Information Technology based companies uses this kind of teams. Disadvantages of Team work used in organisation Like every concept people working in a team also contains disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of team work is called process losses. This means that an organisation has to spend more time and finances on team building. If one team member leaves the group then that organisation has to build again as rather than an individual leaving the organisation. In certain instances adding more members to a certain project could only be making it slower. This is called Brooks Law.

In certain instances certain team members intend to not put their best effort because it is a team project, this also known as Social Loafing. Further when people are working together since the responsibility is collective the responsibility put by . each team member could be less. This could have bad repercussions like teams not fulfilling their duties. (Sorrow M Team Work – Advantages and Disadvantages). Personal conflict can also hamper the team work goals because this would lead to unwanted conflicts among the team members. There number of problems that arise in team decision making.

Production blocking means that there are many people s views to be considered in working in a team and taking decisions. This results in more time being taken to come to agreement. Plus in certain instances members in the group may not put their proper point of view as they might think that such would be considered stupid by other members. 7 Conclusions Even though there are number of disadvantages that arises when teams works together it is been stated that these disadvantage could be overcome by organisations using different types of mechanisms to improve their team building.

There are four structures in enhancing team decision makings and they are known as constructive conflicts, brainstorming, electronic brainstorming and nominal group technique. Constructive conflicts means that members focus on their discussion while respecting other peoples decisions. Brainstorming means team members have face to face meetings but they are not allowed to criticise each other. In electronic brain storming members share creative ideas through networking and nominal group techniques means variations of brainstorming this contain three steps in team members working together. (Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, p. 25-327) However all theories and models which are develop in regard to team work manifest that working in a team could achieve much more than an individual working alone. And it is also interesting note that the word TEAM itself states that Together Everyone Achieves More. References Deshmukh U, Team Work in Work Place (http://www. buzzle. com/articles/teamwork-in-the-workplace. html) Heathfield M 2008 What is a team 15 March 2010 (http://humanresources. about. com/ od/teambuilding/ f/teams_def. htm) Mc Shane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010, Organisational Behaviour Mc Graw –Hill Australia Pty Ltd

Sorrow M ,Team Work – Advantages and Disadvantages (http://ezinearticles. com/? Team-Work—Advantages-and-Disadvantages&id=2147091) Team Effectiveness Model, (http://web. uvic. ca/hr/hrhandbook/organizdev/teammodel. pdf) ———————– Team design • Task Characteristics • Team Size • Team Composition Organisational & team environment • Rewards • Communication • Organisational Structure • Organisational Leadership • Physical Space Team Processes • Team Development • Team Norms • Team Cohesion • Team Trust Team Effectiveness • Accomplish Tasks • Satisfy member needs • Maintain team survival

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