1) Baseline Description Early After the Crash
The first few days following the crash of the Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying 45 passengers en route to Chile was surely made out to be some of the hardest days throughout what would become an amazing 72 day fight for survival. In the first few days the team had to fight through anxiety, mental instability, chaos, and perhaps the most important barricade—the fight to stay unified, positive and team-orientated. This is what makes it such an amazing story because without the strong team development and commitment, survival would not have been possible. Prior to the announcement that the search party had ceased its efforts, the group was just waiting and depending on the search party to find them. Initially, the group was fragmented even though they worked together to help the injured people under the direction of two noticeable leaders, namely Antonio and Canessa. Team bonds were weak as a whole and there was some dissatisfaction of Antonio’s bossiness from a few individuals. Together, the group was faced with many casualties, chaos, and severe cold weather. There were great ideas from several individuals, such as using airplane seat covers as blankets, melting snow for water, and insulating the plane with suitcases. Antonio, the rugby team captain, tried to pull the group together as a team and motivate everyone by being optimistic about the search party finding them and creating a food rationing plan. The events of the initial days after the crash show the team’s competency level and normative level of functioning. When appraising the level of competency of the amateur rugby team based on the behaviors of the team and individuals in the first few days using the diagnostic assessment tools provided in Developing Management Skills (Whetten & Cameron, 2011), one can observe the definitive need for team building by assessing the circumstances that they were in and by understanding what they needed in order to rescue themselves. Applying the characteristics, behaviors and organizational performance of the rugby team to the skill assessment set for ‘Diagnosing the need for Team Building’ (see Appendix A), one can draw a concise conclusion that there was a necessity for a constructive team. Many of the factors in this assessment were satisfied, however there were a few parameters that suggested the team could have improved. These points are suggestive to the fact that the level of competency of the team was moderate in the early days after the crash, and that there was a need for team building and cohesion. In one exercise that is used to help determine which specific stage a team operates in, the rugby team tested moderately well when assessing their functioning in the first few days after the crash. We perceive the teams functioning to fall under stage four most of the time. Stage four characteristics show that the team functioned quite well in the first few days together, and when there were disagreements they were always resolved productively. This seems logical as the rugby team had been together for a long time and they had already established leaders in the group. However, there is always going to be breakdown and anxiety when faced with an extreme situation like the one they were put in. Yet, when looking at the whole picture, the extreme situation did not break down the integrity and overall performance of the team. 2) Movement Through the Stages
Our analysis of the team with respect to the stages of team development (see Appendix B) shows that the team was very functional throughout the duration of their time together. Conflicts occurred; however, they were handled effectively and everyone on the team was aware of the main goal they all shared, and eventually became a performing team. During the first few days, we identified the team development with the norming stage. The team had a hierarchy established and each person’s distinguished skills and abilities were...
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