1. Critical reflection of the validity of the Belbin’s self-perception inventory Nowadays team working is becoming a fundamental concern for many organisations. Whereas there are a number of factors affecting a team/group performance, significant attention has been given to the effect of the diversity of team members regarding roles that are played in a team. A popular team role model which is being used internationally in research on team environment as well as in practice at work is Belbin’s self-perception inventory which was devised by Meredith Belbin. The purpose of the model is to assess how an individual behaves in a team environment. People are sorted into one of 16 typical qualities and measured on how they express behaviourally from 9 different team roles, namely: plant, resource investigator, co-ordinator, shaper, monitor /evaluator, team worker, implementer, completer /finisher and specialist. Team roles then are divided into 3 main groups; action roles (including shaper, implementer, completer / finisher), social roles which are co-ordinator, team worker, resource investigator, and thinking roles (plant, monitor / evaluator, specialist). It is very important to clarify the true definition of these roles in understanding teamwork and group dynamics. The writer is going to introduce briefly about these 9 characteristics, then reflect critically of the validity of Belbin self perception inventory in terms of the role that I appeared to adopt whilst undertaking a small group task. Table 1: Belbin’s team-role descriptions
In this model, the definitions of these nine roles are based upon six factors: personality, mental ability, current values, field constraints, experience and role learning. Nevertheless, each factor provided no explanation for the variance amount in a team role. Belbin strongly believes that in order to achieve good performance in teamwork, a balanced representation of all team roles is essential. Theoretically, a team with the balance in team role will perform better than others teams without the balance. Belbin himself also considers that the preferred role concept should be differentiated from the idea of functional role referring directly to the technical skills and operational knowledge related to a specific job. As a result, people might have the same functional role but differ significantly in their natural team roles. 1.1 Self-perception team role profile
After taking some questions relating to how you respond in different teamwork situations, Belbin shows my preferred roles, manageable roles and least preferred roles. It is very interesting that the result coming out as 90% “Completer / Finisher”, 70% “Co-ordinator”, 65% “Implementer” and just 25% “Teamworker”. This means that I very much prefer to play the “Completer / Finisher” roles, “Co-ordinator” roles and “Implementer” roles, whereas “Teamworker” roles seem not to be likely for me to play. It also indicates that I have an unusual profile due to two characteristics that are infrequently found together – one is a disposition towards managerial liaison work and the other is a concern for accuracy coupled with a need to maintain and raise standards. Alternatively I might be suitable to act as the public advocate of quality in an established organisation. It is then suggested that with my special aptitude for promoting excellence, I seem to be ideally suited to change the culture of the company. It is important for me to take a close interest in the work of my subordinates and pay attention to how things have been done precisely without in any way suggesting interference or superior knowledge. When dealing with my colleagues it is advised that I should not spend too long handling with minor maters. My management style should be one of taking a broad view and then getting down to the detail. In terms of character profile, Belbin shows that I have an eye for detail, an interest in drawing out contributions...
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