Chapter 7 – Teamwork and Team Building

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small groups with complementary skills, who work together as a unit to achieve a common purpose

Hold themselves collectively accountable

a number of people who interact with one another for a common purpose

individual contributions

Advantages of Teams
Compared to individuals, teams:

– better decisions
– better products + services
– better info sharing
– increased motivation/engagement

Team challenges
– individuals can be better/faster at some tasks
– process losses: cost of developing teams
– companies may not provide a good environment
– social loafing
3 levels of teamwork
1. Team task level – teams are organized to carry out a specific task or goal

2. Individual needs level – each group members individual needs impinge upon the team and its task

3. Team maintenance level – to accomplish tasks teams needed to recognize + maintain relationships

Effective Teams
Require O direction, purpose + task clarity

Understand value of working jointly; able to disagree

Blend of technical, task, leadership abilities

Take pride in benefits

Team Effectiveness Model
Team Effectiveness Model
Stages of Team Development
Stages of Team Development
Team Member Competencies
Co-operating: share resources; accommodate others

Conflict resolution

Comforting: empathy, confidence, psychological support

Communicating: share information, listen actively

Coordinating: align work with others, keep team on track

Team Design
– different perspectives of problems + solutions
– broader knowledge
– better representation of constituents

– takes longer to become high performing
– susceptible to fault lines
– increased risk of dysfunctional conflict

Identification based: based on common mental models + values, increases with team social identity

Knowledge based: based on predictability and competence

Calculus based: based on deterrence; fragile and limited potential

Effective Teams at Google
Psychological Safety: feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable

Dependability: get things done, meet high bar for excellence

Structure + Clarity: members have clear plans, roles and goals

Meaning: work is personally important

Impact: think their work matters + creates change

Barriers to Team Effectiveness
– lack of senior management commitment

– ambiguous O alignment

– inadequate rewards system; skills; resources; information; team size; HRD; info systems

Team Building
Sequence of planned action steps designed to gather + analyze data on the functioning of a group, and implement changes to increase effectiveness

Fosters teamwork

Team Building Process
Clarify core values and direct behavior

Transform general to specific performance objectives

Develop skill mix to give high performance results

Enhance creativity in task performance

Skill Team Leaders
Build trust and inspire teamwork

Create a team identity

Facilitate and support team decisions

Expand team capabilities

Make the most of team differences

Foresee and influence change

Effective Team Facilitators
Gain appreciation of complexity + dynamics

Identify team needs

Create a safe and open forum

Foster interdependence, creativity + open communication

Encourage necessary choices

Address ‘light’ and ‘dark’ sides of team building

Teamwork Training
1. problem/opportunity awareness

2. data gathering/analysis

3. action planning

4. implementation

5. evaluation

Development Activities – Training
Experiential activities: encourage active info processing

Challenging viewpoints: helps members overcome resistance to change

Consensual decision making: general agreement all members support

Brainstorming: members actively generate as many ideas as possible

Timing + Location of Training
Formal retreats: organized offsite, 2-7 days. Planning and experiential activities

Continual improvement: managers take responsibility for regularly engaging the team building process

Outdoor experiences: physical tests/obstacles

Team Performance and Cohesiveness
Influenced by:

NORMS: rules/standards of behavior that members are expected to display

ROLE: set of expectations for the behavior of a person in a particular position

Role Expectation Issues
ROLE AMBIGUITY: when a member is unsure of what other members expect of them

ROLE CONFLICT: when a member is unable to respond to group expectations

Team cohesiveness
Degree members are attracted to + motivated to remain a team

Influenced by shared experiences and commitment

What influences team cohesion?

Conflict Management

What are effective teams characterized by?
empowerment, participation, involvement
What are 4 typical types of teams?
Employee Involvement

Problem Solving

Self Managing


Employee Involvement Teams
Meet regularly outside of normal work units to collectively addressing issues

5-10 members

Mechanism for employee participation; seek to foster quality management + continuous improvements

Problem Solving Teams
For generating solutions to problems

Quality circles

Task forces


Self Managing Teams
Small groups of people empowered to manage themselves and their daily work
Virtual Team
Members work inter-dependently towards the achievement of a common goal across space + time

dependence on technology; absence of non-verbal cues, place and timing of interaction + degree of public and private communication

Future challenges for teams
Empowerment through new technology

Trust: usually need face to face contact


Diversity: hard to manage diverse teams

Self-leadership: debate about whether there should be team leaders or if team members should be equipped to self-lead

Categories: Team Building